City centres, deserts grow thieves and vandals out of the containment

Les centres-villes déserts poussent brigands et vandales à sortir du confinement

Les centres-villes déserts poussent brigands et vandales à sortir du confinement

The Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ) was already measured in a 50% increase in break-ins and thefts in the shops.

May 2, 2020 10h31

Updated at 14: 55

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City centres, deserts grow thieves and vandals out of the containment

Ugo Giguère

The Canadian Press

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MONTREAL — The images are as spectacular as they are unusual in the city centre deserts across the world have made the rounds of social networks. This flat calm and the absence of witnesses on the commercial streets, however, have had the undesirable effect of making out the robbers of their confinement.

As of the date of 24 April, the Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ) was already measured in a 50% increase in break-ins and thefts in retail stores, compared to the same date last year. It was reported 48 records compared to 32 in 2019.

The president of the Regroupement des business development corporations (SDC) of Québec, Jean-Pierre Bédard, who is also director-general of the SDC Montcalm in Quebec city, confirms the phenomenon.

“We have been informed of harm on our commercial streets and quickly you made a request for intervention to increase the presence of patrols”, he said, specifying that the sector of Old Quebec seemed to be especially popular with burglars.

Cafes, convenience stores, jewellery shops and other shops have been targeted. However, it seems that the police presence has had the desired deterrent effect, according to Mr. Bédard, who is delighted to have been able to limit the damage.

“Our shops are already in great difficulty because of the pandemic, it did not particularly need it most,” he laments, adding that the storefronts have also been fracassées by vandals.

Montréal was no exception

If the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) was not yet able to provide accurate data on the crimes reported in April, several CDS of the metropolis bear witness that the criminals are all in containment.

In the sector of the Vieux-Rosemont, a burglary at the restaurant-bar The Dice Plugged in sounded the alert to the SDC Promenade Masson, which has hired its own patrol service private.

“It has 90 shops closed on a total of 140, so we thought that it was necessary to put in place a safety device to prevent these events,” says the director-general of the SDC Kheir Djaghri.

Since 3 April, a patrol car of private flows in the tributaries of the promenade Masson, the evening to the morning, with the agreement of the SPVM. No other flight has not been identified, but two attempted break and enter were reported.

At least seven harm on shops have also been committed in the district of Saint-Henri. One speaks of the case of windows fracassées and doors vandalized.

To help its members, the SDC Neighborhoods of The Channel has a support fund which provides financial assistance to clean up and secure the site, and then replace the broken windows.

The Association des SDC de Montréal, president Billy Walsh argues not to have been informed of an increase in blatant theft, but rather harm. The graffiti artists would have a heart joy in several montréal boroughs.

“The streets are less busy, so it is more conducive for the businesses to be the subject of harm” derive from it.

The SDC Destination centre-ville, which covers in particular the quartier des spectacles and the quartier international, is said not to have been informed of the incident on businesses, but guidelines have been sent “not to leave anything of value in plain view, and inside the store, leave the drawers crates open and empty to deter potential thieves.”

Many arrests in Ottawa

From the beginning of the health crisis and containment, the Ottawa police Service (OPS) has noticed a strong trend to the upside on the break-and-enter and theft in shops.

In a press release published on 9 April, it was reported already a 70% increase in the number of break and enters in the previous month, including homes and businesses.

Numerous arrests have taken place since then, including one during the last weekend for two in break-ins and burglaries dating back to April 8 in the shops of the city centre of the federal capital.

Advice has been repeated several times by the authorities in order to sensitize traders not to leave any money on the spot. The same instruction was made to the citizens to lock the doors of their vehicle and do not leave any object of value.

According to agent Martin Dompierre, spokesman for the SPO, a large population of homeless in the city centre is struggling with substance abuse problems.

“This is not because of the COVID-19 that they have stopped drinking,” he stressed. And to eat, it takes money.”

Le Soleil

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