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Ontario giving police services $18M to fight auto theft

Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks during a press conference at a Peel Regional police station in Mississauga, Ont., on Friday, November 24, 2023. The Ontario government is investing $18-million over three years to help police services combat and prevent auto theft, while protecting communities and keeping people and their property safe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Ontario is giving police services $18 million over three years to help them fight auto theft.

Premier Doug Ford says auto theft is a growing problem and the funding will help dismantle organized crime networks and get criminals off the streets.

The grants are set to fund 21 projects, including buying new software, GPS and tracking devices, providing specialized training to investigators, creating new units dedicated to auto theft, and expanding data collection and analysis.

The government says that from 2014 to 2021 there was a 72 per cent increase in auto theft across the province, and a 14 per cent increase in the last year alone.

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah says his region has the highest per capita number of stolen vehicles in the province, losing about 20 vehicles a day.

He says it's not just about auto theft, but is an "alarming trend" supporting a host of other crimes in organized networks. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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