Crime prevention is getting a boost in Edmonton.

Federal officials announced communities that “want to solve their own problems” are being handed cash to reduce crime on their streets.

Edmonton programs will be bolstered with a total of $5.6 million.

The announcement was made at Edmonton’s Canadian Native Friendship Centre yesterday, touted enthusiastically by Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan and Labour Minister and Edmonton-Spruce Grove MP Rona Ambrose.

“The bottom line is to keep young people from ever getting involved with crime, helping them to make better choices,” Van Loan said. “We’ll have much safer communities in the long run.”

The cash will be divided by four programs in the city, including a program that will pair children who have witnessed domestic violence with support, a program that teaches boys to stop the cycle of violence and a program that teaches life skills to gang-prone adolescents.

The programs are centred around First Nations youth.

“It’s time to make sure law-abiding citizens aren’t afraid to enjoy their own communities,” Van Loan said.

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