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Government of Canada announces $15 million in funding to combat auto theft

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The government of Canada has announced $15 million in federal funding to combat the recent rise in auto theft, officials said Wednesday.

Minister of Public Safety Dominic Leblanc, Minister of Transport Pablo Rodriguez, Mayor of Montreal Valerie Plante, RCMP commissioner Mike Duheme and Montreal police Chief Fady Dagher said at a news conference in Montreal that $9.1 million will be allocated to provincial, territorial and municipal forces through the Contribution Program to Combat Serious and Organized Crime (CPCSOC).

Additionally, INTERPOL's joint transnational vehicle crime project will receive $3.5 million to enhance information sharing to retrieve stolen vehicles and parts worldwide.

The officials said another $2.4 million will be invested to continue supporting the government's domestic and international partners.

"Local police services from across the country play a crucial role in combatting auto theft," Leblanc said in a press release.

"As was highlighted at the recent summit on Combatting Auto Theft, collaboration is essential to combatting this crime efficiently. The investment we are making today will enable police services to further strengthen their cooperation."

An initial funding of $28 million was announced earlier this month at the summit to help fight the export of stolen vehicles.

The government said the money will give the Canada Border Services Agency more capacity to detect and search containers with pilfered autos.

The federal government says an estimated 90,000 cars are stolen annually in Canada, resulting in about $1 billion in costs to Canadian insurance policyholders and taxpayers.

“Behind every car theft, there are serious impacts for vehicle owners, visitors and the reputation of the metropolis," Plante said during the announcement.

"Car thefts are a gateway to the criminal network for many young people, and we need to take concrete action. The funding announced today will certainly reinforce the strike force of the SPVM (Service de police de la Ville de Montreal), other police forces and partners involved. We salute this gesture by the government of Canada and will remain mobilized to fight effectively against this scourge.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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