The New Brunswick government has launched a new crime prevention strategy, saying it’s cheaper to prevent crime than punish offenders.

Community groups have helped in the development of the strategy, which will focus on three key areas of concern.

“Youth at risk, chronic repeat offenders, and domestic intimate partner violence,” says Premier David Alward.

Alward says traditional law enforcement responses are costly and the new approach will not only help reduce crime, but costs too.

“Ultimately find efficiencies to reinvest that in key priorities, where we know if we look at the problems earlier, we’ll be able to get further and really stop potential crime in its tracks,” he says.

Leanne Fitch, acting chief of the Fredericton Police Force, says the strategy addresses critical issues.

“Some of the outcomes are going to take some time to realize the benefits of the work that’s been done,” says Fitch. “But most definitely that is the goal behind this whole strategy, is to reduce crime.”

The province hasn’t said when results can be expected.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell