The Ontario Working Group on Collaborative, Risk-Driven Community Safety (Details)

Name of province/ territory:


City/ Region:

Provincial Initiative

Description of Initiative:

The Ontario Working Group on Collaborative, Risk-Driven Community Safety (OWG) is a cooperative effort involving police services, government ministries, and community agencies and partners. The OWG is designing a prototype community safety planning framework and developing and implementing risk-driven, collaborative interventions, among other initiatives. The OWG is a subcommittee of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee. Its activities are supported by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS).

Initiative Key Objectives:

The OWG is focusing on a common objective of improving community safety and well-being by addressing situations where the risk of victimization, crime or disorder is acute. Members of the OWG are developing and implementing mechanisms to allow multiple representatives to come together swiftly to reduce risk levels for an individual (e.g., a young person), family, group (e.g., schoolchildren) or location (e.g., a store or intersection). Ultimately, this collaborative approach promotes community safety by reducing victimization, as well as being more efficient and cost-effective.

The OWG is working on several projects:

  • a prototype community safety planning framework;
  • guidelines for inter-agency information sharing;
  • standards and measures for community safety;
  • legislative and regulatory reforms;
  • communications and community engagement planning;
  • technologies and methodologies to support collaboration; and
  • the Symposium for Community Safety and Well-being Partners (held February 2014).

It is anticipated that a broader strategy for making the tools and approaches developed by the OWG more widely accessible to all Ontario police services and their community partners will be the next stage in this work.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

Greater Sudbury Police Service and City of Toronto

Key Contact:

Inspector Robert Keetch (Greater Sudbury Police Service) and Community Development Unit Manager Scott McKean (City of Toronto) /

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other police services
  • other government departments/agencies

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):


Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

This initiative commenced with an ad hoc working group in October 2012. The OWG officially formed in July 2013.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

This initiative was undertaken because a number of stakeholders realized a multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach would be extremely beneficial.

This approach is different because it identifies the "risk" early on, not in isolation but involving multiple representatives who can provide support and/or take the appropriate action. Through early interventions, risk levels can be reduced and victimization can be decreased and/or eliminated.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

In July 2013, MCSCS supported the OWG through the Proceeds of Crime Front Line Policing grant program. The theme for this 2013–2014 grant program was "Crime Prevention—Community Mobilization."

Method of Implementation:


Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

Key deliverables are listed under "Initiative Key Objectives."

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

  • Partnerships are critical to achieving community safety and well-being in Ontario.
  • The OWG is a cooperative effort currently comprised of police services, provincial and municipal governments, and community agencies and partners. The OACP Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee and its activities are supported by MCSCS.
  • The OWG is designing a prototype community safety planning framework and also developing and implementing risk-driven, collaborative interventions. These emerging, evidence-based strategies will help improve community safety and well-being.
  • We anticipate that as these risk-driven, community-based collaborations continue to develop, so too will multi-sectoral partnerships (e.g., involving non-governmental organizations).
  • These comprehensive, integrated approaches can have a significant positive impact on a person’s life, a family’s well-being and the safety of neighbourhoods. They are also cost-efficient.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • summative
  • quantitative

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:


Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:


Additional Comments or Suggestions:

The OWG work has quickly evolved to the point of integration into various government ministries and community agencies and partners.

Also, a number of additional police services are becoming involved in developing and implementing this new approach in Ontario. Those most directly involved right now include the Chatham-Kent, Greater Sudbury, Halton Regional, North Bay, Ontario Provincial Police, Peel Regional, Toronto and Waterloo Regional police services.

The MCSCS is directly involved in the OWG, and various other provincial ministries such as Health, Education, and Children and Youth Services are being consulted. Multiple community agencies are also involved through partnerships with various OWG members. This is a dynamic list and it is anticipated that these numbers will continue to grow.

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