Auto Service World
News   August 12, 2002   by Auto Service World

Ontario Pledges Support For National Car Theft Study

The Ontario government is providing $45,000 in funding to Project 6116, a national committee created to study how to reduce auto theft, Bob Runciman, minister of public safety and security, announced today.
“Project 6116 has a national scope, serves an identified gap in crime prevention research and will produce recommendations that impact the province,” Runciman said. “One-third of all auto thefts in Canada take place in Ontario and the government has, in the past, indicated its support for initiatives to fight the growing problem of youth crime through the Youth Crime and Violence Initiative and other grant programs. Auto theft is an area of great concern among police services. It’s important to identify the reasons for this problem and to find ways to stop it.”
The Project 6116 committee is chaired by Marlene Viau, sister of Sudbury Police Service Sergeant Rick McDonald, who died in July 1999 while trying to lay out a spike belt when he was struck by a stolen vehicle that was being pursued by other officers. The number 6116 was McDonald’s badge number. The Sergeant Rick McDonald Memorial Act (Suspect Apprehension Pursuits), which came into effect January 1, 2000, made Ontario communities safer by providing tougher penalties for motorists attempting to flee from police.
“Our committee is pleased to partner with the Ontario government in this research project,” Viau said. “Auto theft by youth has become a growing concern in this province and country. Canadian statistics reveal that last year 42 per cent of those convicted of vehicle theft were between the ages of 12-17.
“Auto theft is not a victimless crime. Many youth and innocent bystanders have been maimed or killed as a result of this crime. A recent Swedish study indicates that auto theft is a ‘gateway’ and debut offence that leads to a life of crime for many youth. Reducing auto theft may have the potential to reduce other types of crime.”

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