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Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson listens in as Rochelle Squires, Manitoba Minister of Families, speaks at an event in Winnipeg, on Jan. 31.JOHN WOODS/The Canadian Press

The Manitoba government is committing $2.1 million to a new approach to find and help missing persons.

The province says the Winnipeg Police Service will become the centralized intake for missing persons reports, and will have dedicated resources from provincial child and family services.

Families Minister Rochelle Squires says many of the people who go missing each year are Indigenous women from rural and remote communities.

She says some are lured to Winnipeg and are at risk of being exploited or being victims of violence.

Assistant commissioner Rob Hill of the Manitoba RCMP says the announcement means a more co-ordinated approach with dedicated staff.

The Progressive Conservative government has made a series of crime-fighting promises in recent weeks, including a new child-abuse investigative unit announced earlier this month.

Squires said Monday the new missing persons initiative will not only help find people, but will also provide supports.

“We know that there are dozens of young people who are chronically reported as missing, and tragically some of these young people fall victim to violent predators,” Squires said.

“This response aims to both channel those chronic youth into community-support programs, while ensuring timely law-enforcement engagement on those cases that require it.”