Montreal police adding surveillance cameras to fight crime, worrying community groups


Montreal police are planning to put in 9 extra safety cameras throughout the town in response to an increase in violent crime, however group teams are questioning whether or not the expertise works to discourage crime or is a waste of cash.


With the addition of the 9 cameras — costing as much as $11,000 every — the police say they plan to function a surveillance community of 42 cameras within the metropolis by the top of the 12 months. Metropolis police refused to be interviewed concerning the community, as an alternative referring all inquiries to their web site, which states that the areas of the cameras had been chosen “following an evaluation” of violent crime within the metropolis.


The province says violent crime, particularly gun-related crime, has risen in Montreal since 2016. However Universite de Montreal criminology professor Remi Boivin says he would not know the way the police may justify including extra surveillance cameras throughout the town.


“If the target is to forestall crime, I’d reply that, to start with, it doesn’t work, and secondly, (the police) already know that,” Boivin mentioned in an interview Monday.


He was a part of a analysis mission that analyzed the primary sequence of public surveillance cameras police put in in Montreal in 2010, and he mentioned the outcomes indicated the preventive impacts of cameras on violent crime had been “inconclusive.”


“Crimes towards somebody are simply movable,” he mentioned in an interview Monday. “If they do not happen in a park w. t.’s a digicam, will they occur within the subsequent one w. t.’s no surveillance?”


Cameras might be put in in 4 parks throughout the town and in different areas, together with downtown’s Cabot Sq., a typical gathering place for Indigenous folks experiencing homelessness.


On their web site, the police say they .rmed “sure companion organizations” concerning the plan to put in the cameras. However Ousseynou Ndiaye, government director of a group group within the Montreal-Nord borough, says he was by no means consulted.


“We do not need the violent crime challenge to be taken care of by putting in extra safety cameras everyw.,” Ndiaye, with the group Un itineraire pour tous, mentioned in an interview Monday.


“The issue is deeper than that. Pondering you possibly can resolve it with cameras is totally lacking the purpose.”


He is not totally against surveillance cameras, nevertheless. Final fall, his group labored with police to put in cameras within the borough. “All people was supportive of it,” he mentioned.


However this time, Ndiaye mentioned the police did not seek the advice of, including that he fears the surveillance community will turn into abusive.


“I’d have preferred to research the cameras which might be already t.,” Ndiaye mentioned. “Did they work in stopping crimes …. How a lot have we invested in the neighborhood to assist susceptible folks? How a lot did we pay for these cameras?”


Police in different Canadian cities, together with Toronto, are additionally including surveillance cameras. Final summer time, Ontario introduced a complete of $6 million over three years for police forces to purchase extra safety cameras. Toronto police have already got greater than 30 cameras and plan to increase the community to 74 by 2028, a police spokesperson mentioned Monday.


The Quebec authorities has invested tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} within the final a number of months to combat violent crime, notably within the Montreal space. Public Safety Minister Genevieve Guilbault has mentioned the variety of tried gun-related murders within the Montreal space quadrupled between 2016 and 2020. T. had been 25 homicides in Montreal in 2020 and 37 in 2021.


It is the murders of younger folks within the Montreal space which have galvanized authorities to take motion.


In February, Lucas Gaudet, a 16-year-old highschool scholar, was fatally stabbed following an altercation outdoors a highschool on Montreal’s West Island. In January, Amir Benayad, 17, was shot within the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough in Montreal’s first murder of 2022.


In 2021, Hani Ouahdi, 20, was shot useless in a automobile within the metropolis’s east-end Anjou district in December. In mid-November, Thomas Trudel, 16, was shot within the St-Michel borough as he walked dwelling from a park. Jannai Dopwell-Bailey, 16, died after being stabbed outdoors his college final October. And in February of that 12 months, Meriem Boundaoui, 15, was killed in a drive-by capturing within the St-Leonard borough.


Fo Niemi, government director of Montreal-based civil rights group Centre for Analysis-Motion on Race Relations, says he is involved the police are investing cash in surveillance expertise as an alternative of community-based packages to forestall crime.


“T.’s a necessity for a public dialogue, whether or not that is going to be a rising pattern,” Niemi mentioned in an interview Monday.


“T.’s a little bit little bit of disconnect when it comes to .rmation for the general public. That is one thing the town and the police ought to think about, as a result of transparency is crucial to earn and preserve communities’ belief and co-operation.”


— This report by The Canadian Press was first printed on March 8, 2022.

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