Halifax has a real problem with violent crime, and it needs to start working to make residents feel safer, says a new report on violence and public safety.

“This isn’t a figment of people’s imagination,” said Don Clairmont, director of the Atlantic Institute of Criminology, who wrote the report.

“People in HRM are extremely concerned about violence and public safety.”

Clairmont pointed out that violent crime is 25 per cent higher in Halifax Regional Municipality than in the rest of the province – not surprising, since we have 41 per cent of the provincial population. In 2004, the city ranked first in the country for self-reported victimization of violent crime.

Clairmont delivered a 104-page report with 64 recommendations to Halifax regional council this morning. His first suggestion is that the city hire a full-time public safety coordinator, set up a race relations committee that meets regularly, and set up a community support office program, with 10 staff members, designed to help police deal with community crime issues.

Mayor Peter Kelly said the city “must” find the money to implement Clairmont’s recommendations.

The report will next be debated at Halifax regional council’s committee of the whole.

To read the full report, visit www.halifax.ca/council/mayor/RoundtableonViolence.html.


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