Posted at 6:00 am
Concerned about the spread of violence by guns, particularly in Montreal and Laval, Quebec’s Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, asked the province’s main police force on Thursday what their needs were and what their strategy will be to combat this phenomenon. , while police feared the hot summer. “Simple lang, let the police work,” said a former high-ranking officer very familiar with the situation in response.
“Everything we can do is being done now. Quebec has put a lot of money into the fight against guns, cooperation between police forces is there. For the rest, we are within the laws, ”added a senior officer from another major police force.
While Ottawa is considering Bill C-5 to repeal the mandatory minimum sentences for possession of a firearm for certain offenses, police chiefs who wrestle almost daily with gun violence are opposed. here.
Moreover, in an exceptional situation, in exceptional ways, some police officers are beginning to say, asking for more power so that they can make arrests without it being dictated by governing policies.
“We must make more stops and searches, and act on every offense,” a senior official of one of the largest police forces in Quebec told us.
In Laval, patrol officers, investigators from the Organized Crime Division and members of the Équinoxe squad were familiar with the “subjects” of the street gang in their territory; so did the patrol officers, the investigators of the multisectoral teams focused on guns (EMAF) and the members of the Eclipse squad in Montreal. So they already have the skills to investigate, make quick arrests, and draw guns on the street.
Last September, the Legault government announced a sum of $ 90 million by launching the Centaur key strategy, which prevents various police forces and squads involved in trampling on each other’s fingers. , and allows them to work together better and fight more effectively. against guns.
The Press learned that, shortly after this announcement, the former director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), Sylvain Caron, asked the government for tens of millions of dollars for this police force to double the number of investigators. to EMAFs, to add monitoring and wiretap resources and to recruit civilians to provide better community services in the most affected neighborhoods.
But this request remained a dead letter.
The hand extended on Thursday by Minister Geneviève Guilbault could offer SPVM interim director Sophie Roy a good chance to renew it.
Mako Guilbault is really due this Friday to meet the leaders of the province’s four main police forces, the Sûreté du Québec, the SPVM, the Laval police service and the Longueuil agglomeration police service.
According to the SPVM, 62 violent events such as homicides and attempted killings with guns or gunshot wounds were recorded in Montreal in the first four months of 2022. This represents a typical event every two days.
Also in Laval, there have been many incidents of gun violence since the beginning of the year.
Many of these events have a backdrop of conflicts between gangs that are regularly exacerbated by challenges or insults launched by aggressive opponents on social networks.
In Laval, the Flameheads, allies of the 24 Gang, are at war with Chomedey 45. This conflict is said to have led to an attempted murder in broad daylight, in a residential area, under the eyes of two bewildered small children. woman, last Tuesday.
In northeast of Montreal, Zone 43 has a problem with Profit Boyz, but another group, STL, is also struggling there.
Some members of Montreal groups live in Laval, and vice versa, so that conflicts move from one big city to another.
Add in easily accessible weapons, bought with the money of crime and fraud, and placed in the hands of individuals who are sometimes very young and have little view of human life, and you have an explosive cocktail.
Through conflicts between gangs emerged the sporadic arrangement of accounts with organized crime at the highest level as a backdrop, such as the murder of Sébastien Giroux, committed in Montreal on Wednesday.
But sometimes, criminal organizations have their own hired assassins, now they call on contractors, usually from street gangs, who do not hesitate to fire in front of witnesses and threaten to fulfill their contract and get their bonus.