Abbotsford to benefit from civil forfeiture

Funds go to programs aimed at stopping violence

Left to right: Darryl Plecas

Left to right: Darryl Plecas

Four Abbotsford organizations have received funding from the province’s civil forfeiture program, under which authorities can seize money or property acquired through criminal activity.

The funds are used to compensate victims and support local crime prevention and remediation efforts.

Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) will receive $48,806, the Abbotsford Police Department will get $10,000, the Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association $7,600 and the Salvation Army of Centre Hope $7,150.

“I wholeheartedly support the fundamental premise of what we do with the monies government obtains through our civil forfeiture initiative,” said Abbotsford MLA Darryl Plecas. “It only makes sense to turn over the proceeds of crime back to the community to assist with crime prevention.”

Abbotsford Restorative Justice executive director Joanne Field said her group’s project will be undertaken in partnership with Abbotsford Police Victims Services and will focus on enhancing support services for victims and furthering collaboration for the delivery of Restorative Justice processes for victims of crime.

ACS will receive two grants, with one for the self-discovery support group ($28,806) which provides help to Punjabi speaking women who are deemed at high risk for domestic violence. The second grant goes to a project entitled Building Healthy Relationships for At-Risk South Asian Pre-teens ($20,000), which will help girls and boys in Grades 5 and 6 who have experienced violence.

This year, the priority focus for civil forfeiture grants is on initiatives that address violence against women, and support the Violence Free BC strategy.

Since the civil forfeiture program became active, it has returned more than $16 million from successful forfeiture actions to crime prevention grants and victim compensation payments in B.C.

Violence Free BC is the provincial government’s long-term strategy and commitment to end violence against women.