Stepped up NDG patrols if necessary: Montreal police
Montreal police are trying to reassure residents and merchants in an NDG neighbourhood following their complaints about an increase in violent incidents, promising increased patrols if that's what it takes.
Last week the manager of a Subway on Sherbrooke Street West at the corner of Madison was scalded after having had a cup of hot coffee thrown at him by an enraged customer who broke down the counter door to get to him. Other merchants had similar stories of drug users OD-ing in bathrooms, rowdy drunks, the mentally ill and the occasional knife-point robbery. Some merchants and residents as well said they believe street gangs are working the neighbourhood and threats of random violence are making the area scary, especially after dark.
But while Station 11 commander Pierre Rousseau admitted the area on Sherbrooke east of Cavendish may have more loiterers and nocturnal activities than most others, thanks to a 24 hour dep and a bar around there, he is quick to point out that the level of crime is stable, on par with last year, and that street gangs are not an issue.
"I want to be very clear about it: there is no street gang problem there," Rousseau told CJAD 800 News.
"It's not true to say that every time we have criminal matters, it involves street gangs."
But Rousseau said if people do continue to feel unsafe, he's not ruling out increased patrols.
"If people are not safe, we have to consider it, and we will increase the surveillance, for sure," Rousseau said.
Rousseau encourages people to phone them about any violent incidents.
"It won't mean that we are going to need them to testify in court. We can deal with confidential information and every information is welcome," Rousseau said.
"Don't be shy to call us. Citizens are our eyes. If they see something bad going on, we need them to call."
With files from Patrick Lejtenyi
Photo: CJAD 800 News archive