MRFA Proud to be part of this Important Initiative Against Crime
that effects our Industry 

The Manitoba government has established a new retail crime task force to support a safe and thriving retail community that benefits all Manitobans, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced yesterday.

Recent years has seen an increase in crime directed at retail and hospitality businesses in Winnipeg. The MRFA listened to our members’ concerns and reached out to government, law enforcement, and other business associations to find a solution.

The task force is a direct result of the Manitoba Retail Crime Round Table, an event hosted by six local business associations, including the MRFA, in January of 2020. Over 90 participants representing 68 private- and public-sector organizations participated. Issues around crime were and possible solutions were discussed at the event.

The MRFA will continue to be part of this effort moving forward and as always, we encourage our members to reach out to us with any and all feedback.

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM PROVINCE:

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW RETAIL CRIME TASK FORCE TO SUPPORT SAFER COMMUNITIES

 

The Manitoba government has established a new retail crime task force to support a safe and thriving retail community that benefits all Manitobans, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.
“In the past three years, retailers have seen retail thefts increase by over 125 per cent, and violent crime targeted at businesses and employees is also on the rise,” said Cullen. “The Manitoba government is pleased to partner with the private sector to create this new task force, which will work collaboratively to address these issues and support retail communities throughout the province.”
The minister noted the task force is a recommendation of the Manitoba Retail Crime Round Table, which was hosted by six local business associations in January of this year. Over 90 participants representing 68 private- and public-sector organizations participated.
Other recommendations that came out of the symposium included developing and implementing a retail crime strategy that will serve as a roadmap for a safer, healthier and more prosperous Manitoba and collecting, analyzing and distributing information to support the retail community’s safety needs.
The Retail Crime Task Force includes representatives from Manitoba Justice, Winnipeg Police Service (WPS), RCMP, national, local and independent retailers, private security firms, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Commissionaires Manitoba and the Retail Council of Canada, with additional support provided by MNP.
“Manitoba is leading the way in its collaborative response to crime that is undermining the safety and viability of retailer stores across this province,” said John Graham, director of government relations (Prairie region), Retail Council of Canada. “We are appreciative of this community response to addressing this issue and enthusiastically anticipating the impact the efforts of this task force will have on creating safer communities and stores.”
The minister noted Manitoba Justice will be a key participant in the task force, which will discuss and share best practices and seek out innovative ideas to address possible prevention, suppression and intervention strategies. The group will also work to identify potential loss prevention strategies to address the root causes of retail theft, and review initiatives and programs that have been successful in other jurisdictions.
The province has also convened an operations table to bring law enforcement and justice personnel together, with the goal of reducing the number of thefts and robberies from the retail sector in Manitoba. In addition, Project Stop Lifting is a joint initiative between WPS and Manitoba Justice that targets chronic retail theft offenders.
“Our partnership with the Manitoba government is allowing us to better identify and apprehend chronic offenders involved in retail theft,” said Insp. Shawn Pike, WPS. “This targeted approach benefits city businesses and citizens alike, and supports safer communities for everyone.”
The minister noted the Winnipeg Police Service, working in tandem with Manitoba Prosecutions and Manitoba Probation Services, has made significant efforts in targeting chronic, repeat retail crime offenders.
Members of the Retail Crime Task Force are:
• John Graham, director, government relations (Prairie region), Retail Council of Canada (co-chair);
• Shannon Martin, MLA, McPhillips (co-chair);
• Scott Kolody, associate deputy minister, Manitoba Justice;
• Michele Jules, executive director, Manitoba Prosecutions Service;
• Chief Supt. Rob Hill, RCMP;
• Deputy Chief Jeff Szyszkowski, Winnipeg Police Service;
• Bryan Payne, Commissionaires Manitoba;
• Damien Smith, district loss prevention officer, Rexall (national retailer);
• Brian Scharfstein, Canadian Footwear (small independent retailer);
• Shawn McGurk, director, corporate security and surveillance, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries;
• Scott Young, vice-president, Western Canada, Garda World (private security); and
• Dr. Rick Linden, professor, sociology and criminology, University of Manitoba (data expert/research advisor).
View the press release and video on the Province’s site: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=49281&posted=2020-09-22