The Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Framework
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The Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Framework

Target Board showing the stages of the plan: Social Development (Promoting and maintaining community safety and well-being), Prevention (Proactively reducing identified risks), Risk Prevention (Mitigating situations of elevated risk) and Incident Response (Critical and non-critical incident response) 

Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Framework consists of four areas of intervention:

  1. Social Development
  2. Prevention
  3. Risk Intervention
  4. Incident Response.

​Community Safety and Well-Being planning needs to occur in all four areas of the framework, however the majority of investments, time and resources should be spent on developing and/or enhancing social development, prevention and risk intervention strategies to reduce the number of individuals, families and communities that reach the point of requiring an incident response.

Developing strategies that are preventative as opposed to reactive will ensure efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of safety and well-being service delivery across Ontario. It is also important to explore more efficient and effective ways of delivering services, including frontline incident response, to ensure those in crisis are receiving the proper supports from the most appropriate service provider.​​

Social Development: Promoting and Maintaining Community Safety and Well-Being​

Social development requires long-term, multi-disciplinary efforts and investments to improve the social determinants of health (i.e. the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, such as education, early childhood development, food security, quality housing, etc.); this results in a reduction in harm and victimization.

Specifically, social development is where a wide range of sectors, agencies and organizations bring different perspectives and expertise to the table to address complex social issues, like poverty, from every angle. Social development in action will be realized when all community members are aware of services available to them and can access those resources with ease.

Prevention: Proactively Reducing Identified Risks

Planning in the area of prevention involves proactively implementing evidence-based situational measures, policies or programs to reduce locally identified priority risks to community safety and well-being before they result in crime, victimization and/or harm.

In this area, community members who are not specialists in “safety and well-being” may have to be enlisted, depending on the priority risk, for example, business owners if the risk is retail theft and property managers if the risk is occurring in their building. Service providers, community agencies and organizations will need to share data and information about things like community assets; crime and disorder trends; and vulnerable people and places to identify priority risks within the community in order to plan and respond most effectively.

Risk Intervention: Mitigating Situations of Elevated Risk

Planning in the risk intervention area involves multiple sectors working together to address situations where there is an elevated risk of harm, i.e. stopping something bad from happening right before it is about to happen. Risk intervention is intended to be immediate and prevent an incident, whether it is a crime, victimization or harm, from occurring while reducing the need for, and systemic reliance on incident response.

Collaboration and information sharing between agencies on things such as types of risk has been shown to create partnerships and allow for collective analysis of risk-based data, which can inform strategies in the prevention and social development areas.

Incident Response: Critical and Non-Critical Incident Response​

This area represents what is traditionally thought of when referring to crime and safety. It includes immediate and reactionary responses that may involve a sense of urgency like police, fire, emergency medical services, a child welfare organization taking a child out of their home, a person being apprehended under the Mental Health Act or a school principal expelling a student.

Many communities invest a significant amount of resources into incident response, and although it is important and necessary, it is reactive and in some instances enforcement-dominated. Planning should also be done in this area to better collaborate and share relevant information, such as types of occurrences and victimization, to ensure the most appropriate service provider is responding. Initiatives in this area alone cannot be relied upon to increase community safety and well-being.​

Please contact 311 for general information.

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