SafeTO is a Community Safety and Wellbeing (CSWB) Plan currently under development that aims to shift from a focus on emergency response to intentionally mobilizing risk intervention, prevention and social development approaches to move to a culture of prevention. The plan will prioritize four challenge areas: community trauma, community violence, harm and victimization, and community justice to help bring about a safer Toronto.

The Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019, S.O. 2019, c. 1, Sched. 1 Part XVI mandates every municipality across Ontario to prepare and adopt a Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan by July 2021.

Legislative Requirements

Establish a Multi-Level Advisory Committee

Municipalities will form a multi-sectoral advisory committee comprised of representation from the police service board and other local service providers in health/mental health, education, community/social services and children/youth services.

Consultation

The Municipality will consult the advisory committee, affected communities and those that serve them on the prioritization of risk factors and to identify strategies to address them.

Outcomes Framework

The Municipality will use relevant data to identify and prioritize risk factors that contribute to crime, victimization and community safety and wellbeing; and will set out measurable outcomes that the strategies are intended to produce

Alignment with Police Service Board

Police Service Boards will implement business plans that align with and further the goals of the Municipality’s CSWB Plan.

Publish Completed Plan

The Municipality will report on and publish the CSWB plan.

Review Plan

The plan will be revised within a four-year time frame.

Our work leverages the Community Safety and Wellbeing Planning Framework developed by the Ministry of Solicitor General in partnership with a broad range of sectors including the City of Toronto. The Community Safety and Wellbeing Planning Framework includes:

Social Development (Upstream)

  • Social development requires long-term, multi-disciplinary efforts and investments to improve the social determinants of health and thereby reduce the probability of harm and victimization. Appropriate investment in social development will experience the social benefits of addressing root causes of crime and disorder.

Prevention (Midstream)

  • Prevention involves proactively implementing evidence-based situational measures, policies or programs to reduce locally-identified priority risks to community safety and wellbeing before they result in crime, victimization and/or harm.
  • Opportunities to learn from prevention efforts can advise on strategic investment in Social Development

Risk Intervention (Downstream)

  • Risk intervention involves multiple sectors working together to address and/or interrupt escalating situations where there is an elevated risk of harm
  • What is learned by mobilizing risk intervention can inform how investments and strategies are deployed in the Prevention and Social Development areas.

Incident Response

  • Immediate and reactionary responses that may involve a sense of urgency in response to crime or safety.
  • Initiatives in this area alone cannot be relied upon to increase community safety and wellbeing.

The following areas have emerged from staff review of existing engagement and consultation data and reflect key principles in our approach to the SafeTO work – build on the existing community and institutional wisdom. It is important to note that, all of the prioritized challenges are interrelated and that there will be overlap in how the city responds to these areas.

Prioritized Challenge Description Related Issues Strategies
Community Trauma Consistent exposure to events that can cause physical, emotional and psychological harm can have a negative impact on community wellbeing, health and safety
  • Mental Health
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Exposure to Community Trauma
Mobilize the City and Community to become a trauma-informed City:

  • Trauma-informed
  • Trauma responsive
  • Trauma specific
  • Healing centred engagement
Community Violence Community violence is defined as intentional acts of interpersonal violence often committed in public areas by individuals who may or may not be intimately related to the victim
  • Gun violence
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Gender-based violence/intimate partner violence (including Trans)
  • Structural violence
Prioritize City and Community:

  • Violence prevention
  • Violence intervention
  • Violence interruption
Harm and Victimization Addressing short or long-term vulnerabilities that cause negative and harmful effects on individuals, families, groups or places resulting as a result of escalating risk factors must be a priority for the City.
  • Addiction
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Human trafficking (exploitation)
  • Hate crimes
Mobilize City and Community:

  • Inter-sectoral risk-driven approaches
  • Alternative mental health responses
  • Harm reduction, overdose response, recovery and treatment
Community Justice There is a lack of justice definitions and approaches that bring together community supports to address the root causes of crime in pre- and post-charge spaces.
  • Murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls
  • Overrepresentation of Black, Indigenous and racialized communities in the criminal justice system
  • recidivism
  • Redefining what the term “justice” means locally with those that are most impacted by injustice.
  • Community justice centres
  • Culturally responsive reintegration approaches
  • Restorative justice

 

Community engagement will take place from February to mid-March 2021. Details about engagement will be posted in early February.