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In Quebec, “armed violence’

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The Sûreté du Québec inspector, Michel Patenaude, gave an exclusive interview to Radio-Canada to take stock of the first two years of the CENTAURE national strategy.

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Declining indicators of armed violence and a growing number of firearms seized by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) : this is the observation made by the big boss of the fight against arms trafficking in Quebec, Inspector Michel Patenaude, who took stock of the two years of the CENTAURE national strategy.< /p>

We have seen it in recent weeks, in recent months, armed violence is in decline. If we look at the murders linked to organized crime, we are 50% less in the territory of the SQ compared to the same period last year, says the inspector from the outset. Patenaude, in an exclusive interview with Radio-Canada.

On September 24, 2021, the former Minister of Public Security announced the largest investment by the Quebec government to fight against armed violence. With a budget of $246.7 million from federal and provincial sources over five years, the SQ was able to bring together 107 police officers, including several from around twenty Quebec police forces, to fight full time against drug trafficking. #x27;weapons.

Two years later, the results are encouraging, but the fight against arms trafficking is far from over. The low price of illegal weapons on the black market – around $5,000 per unit for a quality ghost weapon – leads the Sûreté du Québec to say that the supply on this illicit market is still abundant.

Otherwise, the scarcity of weapons in circulation would have gradually increased the cost of purchase.

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Ghost guns made using parts designed by 3D printers are in high demand among criminals.

So, we have an impact on public safety, but this impact is fragile. We must maintain the CENTAURE strategy and that is what we are going to do, affirms the senior officer of the SQ, who considers that there is still a lot of work to be done to weaken the trafficking networks .

Partnerships have been strengthened with the Ontario Provincial Police, including its Guns and Gangs unit, as well as with the Ontario Provincial Police. with American police agencies.

The government's envelope of 246 million made it possible not only to mobilize more than 100 full-time police officers in the fight against arms trafficking, but also to permanently send Quebec police officers to American soil and Ontario.

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Since the strategy took effect, gun-related arrests have jumped 100%; the number of traditional firearms seized increased by 493%, while the number of homemade weapons seized increased by 945%.

This is a very good step in the right direction, considering that gun violence is associated with the impulsive crime of street gangs, notes Francis Langlois, associate researcher at the Observatory on the United States of America. the Raoul-Dandurand Chair, at UQAM, and specialist in firearms.

Among the approximately 246 million dollars devoted to CENTAURE, an amount of 108 million is intended to be invested in prevention and community projects.

Repression is essential and, fortunately, in the CENTAURE strategy, there is a prevention component which is essential to divert young individuals, who could be candidates for obtaining a weapon, towards options outside of crime, explains the university researcher. /p>

Last January, the Sûreté du Québec set up a Quebec Firearms Screening Center to trace the origins of these weapons.

The police can therefore better target trafficking networks by knowing where illegal weapons are initially purchased.

Still according to Inspector Patenaude, 40% of handguns used in cases of armed violence come from the United States, while another 40% are weapons whose parts partly come from the United States. ;3D printing.

Some 10 months after the strategy came into force, 1,900 weapons were analyzed by SQ investigators . They now know that the weapons used in the greater Montreal metropolitan area came from the states of Texas, Ohio and Florida.

If there are firearms coming from states as far from Quebec as Texas and Florida, that requires a structure. It takes organized crime structures to repatriate these weapons, explains Inspector Patenaude.

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The SQ seized a number of firearms during the recent years.

We must surround our border, adds the senior officer. That's what we did. We have established strong ties with the American authorities. And with the Ontario Provincial Police. It's not just conference calls. We have 10 police officers who work outside our Sûreté du Québec offices.

According to university researcher Francis Langlois, he x27;it is not surprising to note that the American states targeted by the SQ also serve to supply Mexico with illegal weapons.

There is a fairly high proportion of the turnover of firearms manufacturers, particularly in Texas, but also in Louisiana and Arizona, which is linked to the trafficking of weapons to the ;South America. But the northern (Canadian-American) border is the other destination, he explains.

The problem is that we have no data on the number of weapons actually in circulation within our borders. A total of 90% of handguns seized in large Canadian urban centers come from the United States.

A quote from Francis Langlois, researcher attached to the study. à Observatory on the United States

For his part, Inspector Patenaude affirms that the third year of CENTAURE's national strategy must aim to improve the teams of investigators to destabilize firearms trafficking networks with partners police officers in Ontario and the United States.

Closer to home, the SQ has loaned around thirty investigators to the SPVM in recent months to conduct criminal investigations into armed violence in order to compensate for the lack of personnel in the Quebec metropolis.

The number one objective of CENTAURE is to maintain the feeling of security of the population, concludes the senior officer of the SQ.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116