Current Date/Time: July 17th 2024

About Us

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The Atlantic Community Safety Association (ACSA) (formerly known as the Atlantic Coordinating Committee on Crime Prevention and Community Safety) is a unique partnership of individuals and organizations committed to building safer communities. Each Atlantic province is represented on the ACSA by people from the criminal justice system, law enforcement agencies, crime prevention organizations, public legal information associations, provincial governments, as well as federal government department and agencies. The ACSA promotes values that respect the inherent dignity of human beings and operates in an open, ethical and professional manner. The ACSA believes that:

  • Every person has the right to safe, supportive physical and social environments in which to live, work and play;
  • Partners for social action are necessary to address the root causes of crime;
  • We have a collective responsibility to nurture and support children in their development;
  • An inclusionary approach is fundamental.

For over twenty years we have organized an annual crime prevention conference, worked collaboratively to influence policy development and promoted the development and dissemination of better practices in community safety. The ACSA is a not-for-profit organization. We have no permanent staff and work is done through volunteer commitment, in-kind support and project funding.


To lead and challenge Atlantic Canadians in building safer communities.


  • Encourage and facilitate cooperative and collaborative efforts among crime prevention practitioners and groups in our region;
  • Lead Atlantic Canadians in the development and implementation of crime prevention and community safety policies and practices;
  • Encourage and promote liaison within and between the public and private sectors in all matters relating to crime prevention and community safety;
  • Maintain a resource centre for crime prevention information.

Member Organizations:

  • Corrections and Community Services, Newfoundland & Labrador;
  • Citizens’ Crime Prevention Association of Newfoundland & Labrador;
  • Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland & Labrador;
  • Newfoundland & Labrador Department of Justice;
  • Public Legal Education & Information Service of New Brunswick;
  • New Brunswick Department of Public Safety;
  • Crime Prevention Association of New Brunswick
  • Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia;
  • Police & Safety Services of Nova Scotia;
  • Crime Prevention Society of Nova Scotia;
  • Nova Scotia Department of Justice;
  • Community Legal Information Association Prince Edward Island;
  • MCPEI Aboriginal Justice Program, Prince Edward Island;
  • Department of Justice and Public Safety, Prince Edward Island;
  • Municipal Police Services;
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
  • National Crime Prevention Centre;
  • Correctional Service of Canada

Board Members

Linda Patterson, Chair, Crime Prevention Association of New Brunswick  

Constable Ken Macdonald, Vice Chair, New Glasgow Police Service

Wilson Chaulk, Past Chair, Citizens’ Crime Prevention Association of Newfoundland & Labrador

Barry Arsenault, Summerside Police Services

Brian Saunders, Public Safety, New Brunswick

Catherine Hartling, Crime Prevention Society of Nova Scotia

David Daughton, Community Legal Information Association of PEI

Jill Lightwood, Department of Environment, Labour & Justice, Prince Edward Island

Kevin Foley, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

Karen Swan, National Crime Prevention Centre

Maria Franks, Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia

Marilyn Sexton, RCMP

Pat Gorham, Nova Scotia Department of Justice

Highlights of the ACSA History and Development:

During the 1960s and early 1970s social and family dynamics, new technologies and world views changed communities. People were aware of rising crime rates and fear of crime was a topic of discussion for municipal leaders, police, and provincial and federal governments. The public looked to the police to prevent crime.

Community-minded justice staff in Atlantic Canada recognized that communities and police had to work together to address what many people felt were crises in crime. The 1970s and 1980s brought increased citizen engagement in the area of public safety, with community groups meeting with police to try and solve crime problems in their communities. These collaborative efforts led to the development of ‘target-hardening’ and ‘situational’ activities – commonly known as traditional crime prevention approaches – and the creation of programs like Operation Identification and Neighbourhood Watch. Crime prevention through social development (CPSD), an approach aimed at addressing the root causes of crime and victimization, also began to emerge during that period. By the 1990s, CPSD activities addressing factors contributing to family and school violence and drug abuse for example, were becoming increasingly recognized as ‘best practices’ in the field of crime prevention.

1984-1989: Beginnings

  • Solicitor General Canada supports community partnership with police
  • First regional crime prevention workshop held in Halifax, NS, June, 1987
  • National Youth Conference on Crime held in Summerside, PEI, November, 1987
  • Atlantic Interagency Steering Committee (AISC) established to lead in planning annual workshops

1990-1994: Connecting with National Initiatives

  • The tradition of annual crime prevention conferences begins with a workshop in 1990
  • Community crime prevention practitioners look beyond traditional crime prevention approaches to those that tackle the root causes of crime
  • AISC members have input into landmark national initiatives, the Horner Report and the National Symposium on Community Safety and Crime Prevention which set the stage for the development of a National Crime Prevention Strategy
  • In 1994, the AISC becomes the Atlantic Coordinating Committee on Crime Prevention and Community Safety (ASCA).

1995-2000: Building on National Initiatives

  • The ASCA develops a Framework for Action
  • The Atlantic Crime Prevention Resource Centre is established and housed at the offices of Community Legal Information Association of PEI
  • Annual crime prevention conferences which had been held in PEI hit the road and begin to rotate through the Atlantic Provinces
  • Provincial crime prevention associations take the lead in organizing the annual conferences
  • The ASCA sponsors a successful Restorative Justice project that develops resources including Fanning the Flames, a communication guide
  • A national dialogue on community mobilization is facilitated by the ASCA at its 13th annual conference.

2001-2004: More Organizing and Partnering

  • The ASCA incorporates in 2001 and develops policies, guidelines for membership, a conference development guide, and creates an archive
  • A project is undertaken to establish a speakers bureau for Atlantic Canada on issues related to crime prevention and the criminal justice system. This Internet-based resource connects community groups and organizations with speakers on a variety of topics related to crime prevention and community safety including victims, community, prevention, justice and solutions.
  • The ASCA documents its history through a project called Building a Lasting Partnership (An Historical and Analytical Overview).

2005 - 2010: Conferences and Projects

  • The ASCA Atlantic Crime Prevention conference continues to take place on a rotational basis in Atlantic Canada
  • The ASCA Speakers Bureau, an Internet-based resource connecting community-based groups with speakers on a wide variety of topics related to crime prevention and community safety, was offered from 2005 to 2008
  • A three-year knowledge transfer project began in 2009, funded through the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) and administered by the National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC). This project focuses on building and sharing practical knowledge on NCPC promising and model crime prevention programs and the implementation tools required in order to reduce crime

2011 and Beyond

The ASCA continues its leadership in crime prevention in Atlantic Canada with a new name: The Atlantic Community Safety Association (ACSA).