Safer, Stronger Communities Initiative (Details)

Name of province/ territory:

Nova Scotia

City/ Region:


Description of Initiative:

A coordinated response to crime prevention and root causes of crime in public housing areas.

Initiative Key Objectives:

Provide a community-focused multidisciplinary response to issues affecting community safety issues in public housing areas.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

Public Safety Office

Key Contact:

R. Scott MacDonald

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other government departments/agencies

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

There is a consultative approach with community and a cooperative approach with the various government partners.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

Since 2007.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

It was undertaken to create a more effective and efficient coordinated response to crime and quality of life issues in public housing areas.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

There were no set-up or operational costs. This is merely stakeholders coming together to provide a more coordinated response to community concerns.

Method of Implementation:

This started as a pilot project in Uniacke Square and is now being expanded to four additional housing areas.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

The key obectives are to reduce crime and increase the sense of safety of residents in the area. These were met in the pilot.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

This is a low-key initiative, therefore a communication strategy was not created. Public communications could cause the communities to feel further marginalized.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • summative
  • quantitative
  • qualitative

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:

Although an evaluation was not conducted, in-house statistics from police and metro housing, along with first-voice accounts from community, were used. The pilot saw an 18% decrease in violent crime and a 20% reduction in vacancy rate for the area. Anecdotally, through social research, residents have an increased sense of safety and feeling of community. After one year, the following were observed:


  • Violent Crime was reduced by 18%. Crime in all categories was reduced, but the number of calls for service increased, which indicated that there was a greater trust between community and police as they historically would not call police.

Housing authority:
  • Went from a 21% vacancy rate with a list of people wanting to leave to a 0% vacancy rate. Has since leveled off to average 3%.

First voice:
  • A tenant had been on a waiting list for two years to move out of the community. When contacted after Safer, Stronger Communities was in place she said, “I don’t want to move. Now that the police are here I want to stay in my own community.” Another tenant remarked, “for the first time in my life I can leave my lawn furniture out at night and know it will be there when I go out for my coffee in the morning.”
  • It appears there are a couple of related working groups with different people on each—a coordination group, an outreach working group and a communications working group. Members come from housing, corrections, community services, police and the city.

Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:


Additional Comments or Suggestions:


Record Entry Date:


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