Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante issued a statement Monday following a recent attack on violent crime across the city.
Plante said that while the situation is worrying, every effort is being made to ensure the safety of the population.
“The events of recent days involving firearms are disturbing, but I want to assure the Montrealers that we are taking the situation very seriously and are implementing a whole series of actions to curb the problem of violent crime,” Plante said.
Over the weekend, Montreal’s Old Port was the scene of an exchange of fire between police and a 33-year-old in which five people were injured, including the suspect and a police officer.
“We cannot accept that acts that could seriously harm or even kill citizens occur on Montreal territory,” Plante said.
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Traders in Old Montreal told Global News they were nervous.
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“People are scared,” said Mario, a restaurant owner who preferred not to give his last name.
“We’ve seen a lot of things we’re not used to seeing here in Old Montreal.”
Mario said his business had been broken into once and robbed twice in the summer alone, compared to just one incident over an eight-year period.
Montreal police are investigating the shooting at the apartment building
The city plans to increase police visibility in target neighborhoods, including the Old Port.
At critical times, such as when closing bars, police patrols will be maintained around target locations, Plante said.
Franois Dor, a retired Sret du Qubec officer, said gun culture is a phenomenon that seems to be making its way east from Ontario to Montreal.
“It seems that guns are increasingly present in criminal life in Montreal,” he said.
“It seems that street gangs, criminal groups, motorcycle criminal groups are more prone to violence and taking all the means they can, of course using one weapon, or many weapons.
Montreal police departure team dedicated to the fight against gun violence
He said he is not sure what is pushing the movement, but said growing officers on patrol may be part of the solution, especially officers from the street gang or violent SPVM crime units.
The City of Montreal also said prevention is an important component of its action plan and that it is working with other cities across the province to identify best practices.
With files from Phil Carpenter of Global
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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