Gun violence | Laval is not spared, SPVM wants to invest in social networks

Laval is not spared by a rise in crimes against the person and shooting episodes that reveal new data, while the Montreal police say they want to invest in social networks, where some “put guns up just for fun.”

Posted at 9:00 am.

Vincent Larin

Vincent Larin

Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vezina

The Laval Police Service’s (SPL) annual report, released on Wednesday, reports a “peak” for this type of crime last year, up 30% from the previous four years’ average.

The police report a significant increase in the number of attacks carried out on its territory in the past year (2711), which is 20% more than the average for the period from 2015 to 2019, and “acts of threats or violence” – 27% more than in the same period.

Blame it on COVID-19?

Ile Jesus has also seen an increase in armed violence. Earlier this week, the Montreal Police Service (SPVM) indicated in its annual report that the number of firearm incidents in the metropolitan area more than doubled in 2021 compared to last year.

In Laval, the number of such cases also increased in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019. The SPL recorded 18 gunshot incidents that year, while that number rose to 40 in 2020 and then to 42 last year.

The SPL specifies that the shootings mostly took place in public places, and mainly in the Khomedey district, a red-light district where a few shootings still took place in recent weeks.

Jose Riou, President of the Professional Order of Criminologists of Quebec, is not surprised by this news. “Of course, it’s just glued together with bridges, it’s walking around, criminals,” she says, reminding us that we find the same social factors contributing to crime in these two border cities.

In this trend of rising crimes against the person, the expert sees the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and related health measures. “Isolating people has created mental health issues,” she notes. The advent of social media also has something to do with it, she says, as many criminals challenge themselves or seek to publicize themselves, especially young people.

Social networks, “hot spot”

It is SPVM that sends a signal to criminal gangs: their actions on the network will have consequences.

“The hottest topic right now seems to be social media. We will have to start investing more in it to be present with the youth,” explained its director of communications, Ann Chamandi, on Wednesday after a meeting of the Public Safety Commission.

According to Mto me Shamandi, “the future [de la criminalité] really is in the virtual space. At the same time, the spokesman sent a message to young people who will use social media to promote criminal activities. “They should not think that because they are behind their screens and anonymous, they are immune to justice. We arrest young people who may threaten or think it’s cool to deploy or display weapons just for fun,” she said.

Be careful, be careful what you do. And talk to adults before you think what you’re doing is a good idea to influence or try to get likes.

Ann Chamandi, Director of Communications, SPVM

He invites the population to “take their share of responsibility for their own safety.” “Talk to the police, even if it’s the smallest detail. Join us in bringing safety and security back to Montreal. »

Plante wants to ‘revise methods’

On Wednesday morning, Mayor Valerie Plante said that the fight against organized crime requires a review of the methods of repression.

“These are really groups that have changed, organized crime has changed, and that is why we have to rethink our methods, we have to go deeper,” said Ms. me Plant the environment by calling for reflection on the Montreal Model. “We have to find solutions aimed at this transformation of groups that, among other things, are looking for young people. »

She argues that we should avoid “falling into the trap of looking for a one-size-fits-all solution.” “Rather, you need to define a set of tools and elements,” she says, referring to access to green spaces, quality jobs, affordable housing and public transportation.