Practice review – Community policing policies

As part of the review of the community-based policing policy introduced in Quebec in 2000, the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime was mandated by the Quebec Ministry of Public Safety to produce an international review of literature on the evolution of public policies on community policing, and to highlight some of the innovative practices that are taking place in Europe and in Quebec.  

The main objective of this report is to provide a state of knowledge on the implementation of public policies related to the implementation of community policing.  

Read the report (only available in French)

Youth mediation training offered by RÉSAL

As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a second training of the 2nd thematic cycle of the activities was held last May 18. This training aimed at introducing the concept of mediation and provided an opportunity for participants to become familiar with various theoretical and practical tools in order to facilitate the process.   

The activity was carried out by Maxime Bonneau, clinical coordinator and trainer for PACT de rue, Déborah Griot, project coordinator, and Myriam, street worker with PACT de rue, a community organization member of RÉSAL that acts directly with youth and people in difficulty.  

In addition, a clinical supervision activity following this second cycle thematic training took place on June 1st and June 22. These clinical spaces allowed participants to recall the main components of the mediation process, the prerequisites for its implementation as well as the main communication techniques that were discussed during the training and to apply them in real-life situations.    

Some of the highlights from the training included:  

  • The importance of differentiating between the concepts of mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, as well as choosing the most appropriate option for each context. The process, the purpose and the roles of each party will differ depending on the option considered and the issue to be addressed.   
  • Mediation is a communicative process, in which the parties have an active and central role. The purpose of the mediation process is not necessarily linked to reaching an agreement or a decision, but rather will be discussed in the course of the exchange between the parties.   
  • The person taking on the role of mediator must be impartial, a good listener and act as a facilitator to encourage the parties’ introspection.   
  • Several communication techniques such as active listening, mirroring or positive reinforcement can be used.   
  • The mediation process, which itself is divided into several more or less flexible stages, benefits from preparatory meetings with each of the parties, allowing them to be informed about the process, to validate their informed consent and to be prepared for the various eventualities.   

So far, the activities of this second thematic cycle “Mediation with youth” have reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working in the prevention of youth violence.  

Training on youth violence prevention through sport and the arts offered by the RÉSAL

As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a series of activities were launched this spring. A first training session of the first thematic cycle was held on May 12. The objective of this training was to highlight the importance of an approach based on sports or artistic practices in the prevention of violence and the creation of a bond of trust with young Montrealers. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the lessons learned, successes and potential challenges that can be encountered in this type of approach.  

The activity was facilitated by Nicolas Barbeau-Lachance, founder and coordinator of the school of intervention through martial arts and combat sports at RAP Jeunesse and Cloé Daguet, counselor at the organization La Collective.  

In addition, two clinical supervision activities of the 1st thematic cycle took place on May 19 and June 2. These clinical spaces aim to promote mutual aid and the horizontal transfer of knowledge by providing organizations with strong practices needs to find support and methodological coaching. 

Some of the highlights of the training include:

  • The Theatre of the Oppressed (TOP) is a participatory, supportive, and demanding practice that mobilizes the body as a vehicle for a message. It creates change and provides a framework for collective reappropriation and awareness on a variety of issues.  
  • Martial arts and combat sports can be a tool to support the modification of violent behaviors in young people, but also to be used for collective empowerment for certain at-risk or vulnerable populations.  
  • Although they are two disciplines that at first glance seem rather distant, i.e. combat sports and TOP, similarities and shared challenges in terms of intervention can be raised. Through body and movement, these practices require young people to learn continuously and to master themselves in order to act on interpersonal violence or to intervene on oppression.  

Furthermore, the success of both disciplines requires active and sustained participation from the practitioners and the young people in order to be part of a long-term follow-up and intervention approach.  

  • It is beneficial for practitioners to name and introduce the underlying objectives of the intervention to the young people through the practice of sports or artistic activities, in order to preserve and strengthen the bond of trust. 

The activities of this first cycle reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working to prevent juvenile violence.  

The ICPC takes part in a TAHub meeting

The ICPC took part in the Traffik Analysis Hub (TAHub)’s January meeting, a network of 116 organizations across the globe, including the ICPC, whose goal is to contribute to the eradication of human exploitation of all kinds. This meeting included a presentation of new indicators that facilitate the analysis of current tendencies in human trafficking. The American organization Polaris whose mandate is to fight human trafficking also presented a data collection project focused on the U.S.-Mexico agricultural setting. Thanks to the implementation of a hotline, this organization has been able to collect information directly from victims, mostly undocumented Mexican workers, thus widening their impact in the community.

RÉSAL community of practice activities

The ICPC remains actively involved in the process of developing a community of practice with the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (Network for exchange and local action support, RÉSAL) on the prevention of violence committed and suffered by youth aged 12 to 25 in Montreal. To follow up on the training sessions offered in the fall of 2021, a series of six clinical activities were organized in November and December to continue the conversation started between community workers in prevention.

These clinical supervision activities aimed to promote cooperation and horizontal knowledge transfer allowing organizations with important practice needs to find support and adapted methodological guidance. The activities were organized around the following themes:

  • Violence prevention in street gangs | November 25th and December 2nd, 2021
  • Sexual violence prevention | November 26th and December 14th, 2021
  • Street work and youth intervention | November 25th and December 9th, 2021

These sessions created a safe space to exchange on ethical dilemmas and/or professional isolation. The significance of these clinical activities was extensively appreciated by the participants. First, they offered a reflective dimension that furthered their practice allowing them to question their reflexes and to share their worries and their difficulties. Second, these activities created knowledge and recognition connections between workers from different backgrounds and areas of work, an aspect essential to the improvement of common work and to the better mutual understanding of each other’s challenges.

Overall, these training sessions and clinical activities of the RÉSAL’s community of practice reached 95 participants mostly from community organizations in and around Montreal.

The ICPC takes part in a forum on violence prevention in youth

On December 7th, the ICPC took part in the first day of the forum Montréal sécuritaire pour les jeunes : dialogue sur l’intervention en prévention de la violence (Montreal Safe for Youth: Dialogue on violence prevention and intervention) to present an overview of the chapters and highlights of the “Rapport sur la violence commise et subie chez les jeunes de Montréal” (Report on Violence Committed and Suffered by the Youth of Montreal), a recent publication by the ICPC. This meeting of community and institutional partners involved in prevention aimed to:

  • Create a common understanding of the violence phenomenon;
  • Discuss youth resilience in a context in which the feeling of safety is important;
  • Take stock of the most recent data on risk factors of violence in Montreal;
  • Highlight the best prevention initiatives;
  • Foster collaboration and the development of an integrated vision among stake holders in violence prevention in youth;
  • Work together around specific issues in violence prevention and fuel the municipal conversation on urban safety;
  • Counter the phenomenon of committed and suffered violence.

The meeting was organized by the Montreal Service de la diversité et de l’inclusion sociale (Service for Social Diversity and Inclusion – SDIS) in collaboration with the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (Network for exchange and local action support – RESAL), of which the ICPC is a coordinating member, and the Institut du nouveau nonde (New World Institute – INM).

The other presentations of the forum included panelists from the Service de police de la ville de Montréal (Montreal Police Department – SPVM), L’Anonyme, and the Institut universitaire Jeunes en difficulté (At Risk Youth University Institute – IUJD) of the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (Integrated University Center for Social Services of the South Center of the Island of Montreal – CIUSSS), ICPC partners.

The ICPC invited to an SPVM meeting in Saint-Michel

On November 30th, the ICPC had the pleasure of attending a presentation of the strategic plan for fighting gun violence and of the Équipe de concertation communautaire et de rapprochement (Team for Community Dialogue and the Development of Closer Ties – ECCR) given by the Service de police de la ville de Montréal (City of Montreal Police Department – SPVM), an ICPC partner, in collaboration with the neighbourhood station #30 of the Saint-Michel neighbourhood.

Concerning gun violence, the SPVM presented the current situation in Montreal and the main directions taken by the strategic plan for fighting gun violence. In particular, the SPVM highlighted the importance of collaborating with the community when it comes to the prevention of gun violence.

This meeting with the community was also an opportunity to meet the new ECCR that has been deployed since April 2021 in many areas of Montreal. This unit aims to connect with citizens and community organizations to find common and sustainable solutions to current or emerging issues around social cohabitation and urban safety.

The event was also an opportunity to introduce several local initiatives in which the neighbourhood station #30 is involved, in particular, those aiming to develop closer ties with the community, especially with youth.

Training session for community workers offered by the RÉSAL

As part of the development of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (Network for exchange and local action support, RÉSAL)’s community of practice, of which ICPC is a member and the coordinator, a fourth training session in a series of activities planned this fall was held on November 11th. This training session mainly addressed community workers in Montreal to introduce methods of approach, of contact, and of intervention in street work for people working with youth and with people living in difficult situations.

The activity was hosted by Maxime Bonneau, clinic coordinator and trainer for PACT de rue, a community organization and RÉSAL member that works directly with youth and people in difficulty to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent risk behaviors.

The following subjects were discussed:

  • The definition and history of street work;
  • How to do field observation;
  • How to integrate a living environment well;
  • How to master intervention methods.

More information about other training sessions offered:

Violence prevention in street gangs

Sexual violence prevention

Online hate prevention

These training sessions were carried out with the financial support of the City of Montreal.

The ICPC participates in International Prison Innovation Week

On June 24th, the ICPC presented at International Prison Innovation Week organized in Chile by our partner, the Coinserta network. The ICPC’s presentation, “Developing an Intervention and Prevention Response to Radicalization Leading to Violence in the French Probation System”, was on its research-action developed in 2016 to prevent violent extremism in the French probation system. The presentation aimed to introduce a radicalization prevention tool, specifically for a custodial setting, that could be adapted to the needs of indigenous communities in Chile.

The ICPC organizes a focus group of local Saint-Laurent stakeholders

The ICPC met with various community and institutional key actors working in the Saint-Laurent neighbourhood as part of the process leading up to a local safety audit.

This focus group’s goal was to better contextualize local realities, to identify the more at-risk parties, and to shed light on emerging problems that might not have been brought up in literature reviews or statistics. Speaking with local actors provides us with a more accurate view of local crime issues.

The local safety audit will be finished in June 2021.