Manitoba Government applauds early success of new police unit targeting violent offenders
June 15, 2023 By Government of Manitoba
June 15, 2023, Winnipeg, Man. – The Manitoba government’s recently established Integrated Violent Offender Apprehension Unit, which is being supported with more than $3 million in funding, has made an immediate impact on public safety in Winnipeg, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced.
“The increase in violent crime we are seeing is a matter of great concern for citizens throughout the province. Law enforcement has observed a distressing trend of repeated and prolific offenders who are well-known to them,” said Goertzen. “The Integrated Violent Offender Apprehension Unit employs sophisticated criminal intelligence techniques to target and closely monitor high-risk individuals with arrest warrants, involvement in gangs, drug trafficking, or illegal firearms smuggling, as well as ties to organized crime. By identifying and monitoring these high-risk offenders, we can often apprehend them before they inflict further harm.”
The unit, comprised of Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) personnel, has been making significant progress in combating violent crime since its launch on May 7. In just one month of operation, the unit successfully made 21 arrests, targeting individuals who posed a significant threat to public safety, the minister noted. Among those apprehended, 10 were on bail, seven were on parole, two were on probation, one was on both bail and probation, and one had no conditions. These arrests serve as a testament to the unit’s commitment to tracking down wanted offenders and making the streets safer, the minister added.
“Seeing the early results from this unit reaffirms city council’s strategic priority to engage in more proactive crime prevention efforts,” said Mayor Scott Gillingham, City of Winnipeg. “By working in collaboration with the Winnipeg Police Service, Manitoba government, RCMP, and other partners, we can target serious repeat offenders and make our streets safer.”
The unit has conducted 92 wanted-person checks, demonstrating its proactive approach in locating individuals with outstanding warrants. By diligently pursuing wanted persons, the unit contributes to maintaining law and order within Manitoba.
Presently, the Integrated Violent Offender Apprehension Unit maintains an active target list comprising 47 suspects. These individuals, identified as high-risk offenders, are a top priority for apprehension and intervention over the coming weeks, the minister said.
The WPS component of the unit is now fully staffed with four detectives, one detective sergeant, and one sergeant. In addition, a WPS crime analyst has been embedded within the unit to provide valuable analytical support. The staffing process for the RCMP component is currently underway and will launch soon, providing for increased public safety throughout Manitoba.
In addition to the Integrated Violent Offender Apprehension Unit, the Manitoba Violent Crime Strategy, supported with $52 million from Budget 2023, is strengthening intensive bail and supervision for serious violent offenders, increasing Manitoba Prosecution Service capacity to address violent crime, and supporting a Manitoba Integrated Missing Persons Response and Child Abuse Response. This comprehensive approach demonstrates the Manitoba government’s commitment to creating a safer environment for all Manitobans, the minister noted.
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