Info-Crime increases reward to $3000

David Shane says Montreal “remains safe” morning after deadly Anjou shooting

Total anonymous tips totalled 10,624, nearly doubling from the 5,826 reported in 2019-2020. Photo: SPVM

Info-Crime Montréal, the anonymous crime tip line, and the SPVM announced last Friday that the reward offered for any information on a crime leading to a successful arrest would increase from $2000 to $3000.

The announcement came the morning after yet another deadly shooting, this time in Anjou killing a 20-year-old man and injuring a 17-year-old teen. This is yet another violent event in Montreal in what many have called a record year for gun violence. 

Present were Info-Crime Montréal President and General Manager Jean Touchette and Vice-President Freddy Marcantonio, along with SPVM Spokesperson Inspector David Shane.

“Any information that you may have, feel confident and feel free to contact Info-Crime Montreal.” 

Increased rewards

The organization made clear how information related to a crime, no matter the scope, helped investigators solve cases. “We need to have the help of the citizens,” said Marcantonio, adding that “any information that you may have, feel confident and feel free to contact Info-Crime Montreal.” 

Although most people report crimes out of a sense of civic duty and not for monetary gain, the organization said it would raise its maximum reward amount from $2,000 to $3,000. They added this would bring it up to standard with similar organizations in other parts of North America. 

Info-Crime Montréal also underlined the importance of crime prevention in Montreal, especially in the last year which saw a rise in violent crime. “We want to help the young stay away from crime, that is our goal,” added the Vice-President. 

Marcantonio explained that Info-Crime Montréal had donated approximately $50,000 to community organizations to keep young people away from criminal activity. Some of these initiatives include E=MC2, Émic and Garage 529.

SPVM Spokesperson Inspector David Shane tried to reassure residents saying that “Montreal remains safe.” Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST

Reports up in 2021

Info-Crime offers both a hotline and a digital platform to report incidents of crime or any helpful information. The organization saw a record number of reports over their operating years of 2020 and 2021. Total anonymous tips reached 10,624, nearly doubling from the 5,826 reported in 2019-2020.

“It more than doubled,” said Touchette, adding that it had also nearly quadrupled since 2016 and 2017, when the number of anonymous tips was at 2,681. The most information received by Info-Crime was first and foremost regarding drug-related offences. 

Coming in second were property crimes such as theft and vandalism, while gun-related violence came in third. The group also stated they had seen a large increase in the number of reports related to gun violence.

But the organization was nonetheless cautious at correlating the increase in reports and anonymous tips with a wholesale increase in gun violence across the city. Although they recognized this change, they preferred tp attribute the increase in anonymous tips to their publicity and visibility campaigns which as a result increased the number of citizen interactions. 

SPVM Spokesperson Inspector David Shane explained that the increase in violent crime was something also being observed in other major North American and was somewhat of a “post-pandemic phenomenon.”

Anjou shooting

The announcement was made the day after yet another deadly shooting in Montreals’ northeast. This time, a 20-year-old was shot dead in a car in the borough of Anjou, leaving another 17-year-old wounded.

According to reports, the victim Hani Ouahdi had no criminal record nor any gang affiliations. It was the 32nd murder in Montreal this year, causing many residents to worry and fear for their safety.

“We travelled thousands of kilometres to flee terrorism, to offer a better life to our children,” said Mustapha Ouahdi, father of the victim, at a commemoration service on Saturday. “Now we are burying our children,” he added

This came just over a month after another deadly shooting in neighbouring Saint-Michel which saw the killing of 16-year-old Thomas Trudel. Although a rise in violence and yet another shooting, the SPVM hoped to reassure  Montrealers. “Montreal remains safe,” said SPVM Inspector David Shane. 

Info-Crime Montréal announced that it was increasing its maximum cash reward for any information on a crime leading to a successful arrest. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST