Ontario invests $18 million to combat vehicle theft

To aid police in their fight against the increasing number of vehicle thefts in Ontario, the provincial government has announced a three-year investment of $18 million.

Funding for 21 initiatives utilizing novel approaches focused on prevention, detection, analysis, and enforcement will be provided by the Preventing Auto Thefts (PAT) program.

According to Premier Doug Ford’s statement in the news release, the objective of the project is to provide police officers in Ontario with the resources they need to maintain public safety.

“This investment will help our police forces clamp down on the growing problem of auto theft, destroy organized crime networks, and get these criminals off the streets and behind bars where they belong,” he stated further.

Can you tell me how the PAT grant will be used in Ontario?
Specialized resources, including software, GPS tracking devices, and surveillance equipment, are available through Ontario’s PAT grant. New teams devoted to combating vehicle theft can be established, and specialist training for police investigations can be made possible.

Additionally, there will be an effort to increase data gathering and analysis in order to get more metrics regarding the connection to organized crime and other illicit activities.

The government also announced that this step will help with cooperation with important groups, including the CAA, local car dealerships, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

“Our government is staying one step ahead,” stated Solicitor General Michael Kerzner, in response to the growing sophistication of criminal organizations and their methods. “With the help of our important partners, police services will be able to increase their understanding, strengthen their investigations, and collect evidence to bring offenders to justice” (statement).

The insurance industry backs Ontario’s plan to reduce vehicle thefts
A statement praising the PAT award was released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) in response to the recent announcement by Ontario.

A statement was made by Amanda Dean, the interim vice president of the IBC in Ontario, praising the ongoing efforts of the Ontario government to combat vehicle theft.

Dean cited data showing that insurance companies paid out more than $1 billion in claims related to stolen autos in 2017. In addition, she mentioned that the expenses related to vehicle theft claims in Ontario reached almost $700 million in 2022, a 329% increase from $160 million the previous year.

A “whole-of-society” approach is crucial, according to the IBC leader, who also praised the government’s efforts to establish a provincial car theft team with committed prosecutorial support and to work in tandem with the organization and other interested parties.

Canadians deserve to know that their governments are fighting back against theft, and they should not have to live in fear of having their cars stolen.

As part of a larger strategy to reduce vehicle theft, Ontario has established the PAT grant. In the past, the government has established programs like the Major Auto Theft Prosecution Response Team and the Organized Crime Towing and Auto Theft Team to help crack down on criminal organizations and prosecute intricate cases.