April 6, 2018 07:00
Aldo Arcaro and John Touchette | Photo : Réjean Meloche
In spite of his 30 years, Info-Crime Montréal remains a body unknown. Yet, over the course of its existence, it has sent more than 100 000 police reports.
2017 has been a busy year for Info-Crime Montréal. In addition to celebrating its 30 years, the nonprofit organization has also launched its first week of Info-Crime. The experience will be repeated this year, in the week of 6 may. He has also held a banquet to celebrate its 30th anniversary, which brought together 350 guests, and that has helped him remember what was his major challenge : mobilize to protect.
In an interview to the Journal of insurance, its CEO Jean Touchette recalled that the idea to launch Info-Crime Montreal is not far away. She arrives in the United States, where the Crimes Stoppers were already well established. Also, the introduction of number 514 393-1133 has been implanted at about the same time as the 911 in the metropolitan area.
The mission of Info-Crime Montreal thus remains simple : make the information anonymous and confidential from the general public, and then pass it on to the police. A person who transmits information to Info-Crime Montreal can be found and therefore cannot be called upon to go testify in court. This information will enable the police to initiate investigations, and pursue other, which makes save some money at any the world. «The more quickly a criminal is arrested, the more it lightens the burden of investigation «, said Mr. Touchette.
Independent of the SPVM
The organization remains totally independent of the police Department of the City of Montreal (SPVM), even if the latter is the major beneficiary of his work. The strength of Info-Crime Montréal lies in its ability to transmit information to the good service of the SPVM, said Mr. Touchette. A vehicle theft will not be processed by the same unit of investigation of a fatal accident or a case of prostitution.
You can call Info-Crime Montreal 24 hours on 24. Day, people trained to collect such information to respond to calls from the general public. At night, these are the voicemail take the calls. The difference is important, stresses Aldo Arcaro, vice-president of the board of directors of Info-Crime Montreal, also present during the interview. Some do not want to talk to a person to transmit information. «It responds to two needs. The goal is to get a report. «
It is also now possible to fill out an online form to transmit information. One of the challenges of Info-Crime Montreal is to obtain a description that is as precise as possible, » says Touchette.
«If a car is involved in a crime where a person has been a witness, know that it is red or blue can make a big difference. People are not trained to transmit information that will be useful to the police. We need to see. «
While reporting is important
People should not hesitate to transmit information. It is sometimes in making a compendium of 20 different information that an investigator will succeed in unravelling a crime, said Mr. Arcaro. «Never underestimate the information that you hold, adds Mr. Touchette. An information is a piece of the puzzle. Each piece is important to solving the puzzle. «
Info-Crime Montreal is also active in prevention, particularly among young people in schools or with elders, to educate them about the crimes they may suffer, ranging from the scam by credit card phishing call. His program is the most famous Unit, without violence, in which 1 500 young people at the end of primary school are aware of the effects of the violence and intimidation. Info-Crime Montreal is also responsible for the programme, A café with a police officer.
«Awareness is a work that we will never stop. This is why we need more let us know. Many people think that we are built-in to the police, whereas this is not the case, even if we found our phone number on the patrol cars. It is necessary to educate the people. «
Perceptions are changing
Mr. Touchette points out that mentalities are evolving, which facilitates the work of her organization. At the end of the 1980s, people were afraid to make a report, afraid to go for stools. This is no longer the case today, » he said. The people will not tolerate more crime. The emergence of the movement #MeToo, for sexual misconduct, is a good example, » he said.
Info-Crime Montreal also offers rewards to people providing a notification that leads to the resolution of a crime. The reward can be up to 2 000 $. However, as the denunciation is anonymous, the person who wants to get a reward is given a code. It must periodically check to see if his information led to something, and thus receive his reward.