Police take steps to better support South Asian community with new support team in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published June 5, 2024 at 4:27 pm

Police take steps to better support South Asian community with new support team in Mississauga and Brampton

Police are stepping up efforts to better serve cultural communities in Mississauga and Brampton, starting with a new team to support the South Asian population.

The new plan was announced on Wednesday and will be part of Peel Regional Police’s new South Asian Community Engagement initiative, known as SACE for short.

Police say some 40 per cent of residents in Mississauga and Brampton self-identifying as part of the South Asian community, Chief Nishan Duraiappah said the initiative “is about listening to our community and taking action.”

The new framework includes the formation of a new a Cross-Functional Support Team along with a Community Ambassador Program that police say will “enhance services through strengthened response, build robust internal capacity building, and increased community engagement.”

If successful, police say the new framework will serve as a blueprint for the force to develop the skills and capacity “to develop and sustain culturally responsive practices for all our communities.”

Launched last year, the SACE initiative saw police hold town halls, engage with community partners in over 60 consultations and run surveys to get feedback from the community.

The new Cross-Functional Support Team and Community Ambassador Program were revealed at the Peel police SACE Summit that saw over 200 community members, elected officials, and members from Canada’s largest police agencies come together on Wednesday.

Peel police have also launched a Extortion Investigative Task Force following what investigators have called a “disturbing” trend of extortions targeting South Asian community members and businesses in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.

At least six arrests have been made in connection to the local Ontario cases, but similar threats and attacks have occurred in both B.C. and Alberta and include several arsons and shootings – cases the RCMP says could be connected.

For more information contact the Peel Regional Police non-emergency line by calling 905-453-3311. Tips can be submitted to the Extortion Investigative Task Force by calling (905) 453-2121, ext. 2133 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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