Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Justice Mickey Amery stand together during the swearing in of her cabinet, in Edmonton, Friday, June 9, 2023. Amery says special teams of prosecutors will be formed to focus on violent crime and criminals in Edmonton and Calgary.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Alberta makes changes to Crown prosecutors to fight rise in violent crime

The Alberta government is making changes to criminal prosecutions to reduce the rise in violent crime.

Justice Minister Mickey Amery says special teams of prosecutors will be formed to focus on violent crime and criminals in Edmonton and Calgary.

Amery says prosecutors will also be given new direction to argue before judges that violent repeat offenders should either be held in custody or be subject to bail rules that will ensure public safety.

The province has already committed to adding 50 police officers in Edmonton and another 50 in Calgary along with $5 million for each city to make transit rides safer.

Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis and Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi say the changes are needed and point to larger problems of homelessness and drug abuse.

Ellis says the province is acting on root causes through a number of measures, including 10,000 new publicly funded addiction treatment spaces.

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