The explosion of shootings in east Montreal must become an electoral issue, plead the citizens of Rivière-des-Prairies, who live in one of the hot areas where multiple bullets have been fired in recent months.
• Read also: Another dreaded hot summer after a hectic winter
“It’s a shock to hear gunshots, to see ambulances coming in front of you. We are constantly afraid that bullets will fly through the window, ”says Alicia Genaille, 17, who spent her adolescence in one of the city’s neighborhoods under pressure.
In front of her house, shots were fired twice recently, first on April 6 and then on April 26. During this last event, one or more suspects fired in the direction of an apartment building located at the intersection of rue Jacques-Rousseau and avenue Élie-Beauregard.
- Listen to the mayoress of Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles, Caroline Bourgeois, with Benoit Dutrizac on QUB Radio:
As recently as last night, gunshots were heard and police discovered projectiles at the corner of avenue Juliot-Curie and rue Huguet-Latour.
This last incident is the 16e by firearm to occur in a quadrangle of about two square kilometers since 2019, according to a compilation by The newspaper.
And that alarming figure does not count crimes that go unreported to police or those that go unreported.
Authorities and politicians
For months, the shootings in the northeast of the city have attracted attention. The authorities have said many times that they will intervene, in particular by creating a squad dedicated to the fight against arms trafficking.
Despite everything, the shots are increasing. And a significant concentration of these crimes is committed in the borough of Montreal-Nord and the Rivière-des-Prairies district.
“There will soon be municipal elections [en novembre], I expect actions. We must challenge Valérie Plante, even Denis Coderre [qui se représente]. What are they going to do to help us with this worrying situation? ” is indignant a man from Rivière-des-Prairies who heard gunshots on two occasions last month.
He points to the dilapidated social housing in front of his home, where four violent incidents with firearms have occurred since November.
“Putting all these low-cost housing together makes ghettos. There is too much concentration of people who are delinquents, ”he laments, asking to keep his name silent for fear of reprisals from gangs.
Supervise young people
Alicia Genaille believes for her part that we must invest to help young people, who are mainly involved in the shootings of recent years.
“The young people of the neighborhood take their example from other young people. We must therefore work to improve their situation. Why not a small center for young people? To help them, mentor them, ”suggests the one who has seen friends turn to bad company recently.
A retired police officer, for his part, believes that it is urgent to continue the pressure on street gangs.
“It is obvious that the question is not to know if another innocent victim will die, but when it will happen”, indignant Stéphane Wall, referring to the young Meriem Boundaoui, killed in February during ‘a shooting in the district of Saint-Léonard, in the east of the island.