The Office of Crime Reduction & Gang Outreach
The Office of Crime Reduction and Gang Outreach (OCR-GO) – a first of its kind in Canada – is a multi-disciplinary office operating through a unique partnership between the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in B.C., the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C., and municipal police departments across B.C.
The OCR-GO was created in recognition of the fact that many existing and emerging safety issues require collaborative responses which include the public safety, health, and social service sectors. The OCR-GO works in a coordinated fashion with government ministries, police agencies, municipalities, Indigenous groups, academics, and community partners to implement evidence-based crime reduction strategies.
- Support operational community safety initiatives
- Prioritize crime issues and communities
- Promote the use of proven, best practices for crime reduction
- Conduct research that informs evidence-based decision making
What is Crime Reduction?
The OCR-GO defines crime reduction as actions taken to contain or reduce existing and emerging crime or community safety issues in communities across B.C.
Difference between Crime Reduction and Crime Prevention
Crime reduction and crime prevention are complementary approaches that both increase public safety in different ways.
Crime reduction focuses on people that are engaged with the police or the criminal justice system, the impacts of these individuals on society, and the places or situations where public safety is actively threatened. Crime reduction interventions aim to disrupt the established drivers of criminal activity. An example of a crime reduction strategy is prolific offender management, which focuses police resources on a community’s most active criminals.
Crime prevention focuses on people that are at-risk of engaging in criminal activities, groups that are at-risk of being victimized, and places where crime could occur. Crime prevention interventions make it easier for people to resist engaging in criminal activities, reduce the opportunities to engage in those activities, build resilience to the drivers of offending in a person’s life, and mitigate victimization through reducing the opportunities for crime to occur. An example of a crime prevention strategy is a wrap-around program that provides services for at-risk youth before they become involved with the criminal justice system.