The International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) is pleased to announce its collaboration with Denis Lafortune, Professor of the School of Criminology at the Université of Montréal, and his team of researchers for the project “PRÉVARM: a living lab dedicated to the prevention of armed violence in the metropolitan area”. This innovative project aims to bring together key stakeholders such as the scientific community, organizations, community workers and people living in the Northeast of Montreal to experiment and develop innovative practices or approaches to prevent gun violence and maintain a safe environment for all.
The PREVARM Living Lab project responds to a crucial need for gun violence prevention in the Montreal metropolitan area. ICPC is pleased to participate in this ambitious project and to work with partners committed to creating a safer future for the Montreal community.
On March 18th, the ICPC was invited to participate in the radio program “Les faits d’abord” on Radio-Canada to discuss the following question: Are mass killings likely to increase?
The recent tragic events in Amqui, Quebec have sparked concerns regarding violent behavior, and experts in the field have addressed the issue through a discussion. Michelle Côté, scientific advisor at the ICPC, discussed the risk behaviors associated with violent actions and proposed a multi-stakeholder approach to prevent different types of violence. Cécile Rousseau, a clinical psychiatrist and researcher who holds the Canada Research Chair in the Prevention of Violent Radicalization, emphasized the importance of prevention to avoid an increase in such tragedies, which may be related to mental health issues but are not limited to them. Dave Poitras, a scientific advisor specializing in violence prevention at the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, also participated in the discussion, shedding light on the phenomenon of contagion after a massacre and the crucial role of media in these situations.
On March 14, the ICPC had the opportunity to participate in a day of workshops on gun violence prevention, organized by the Quebec Ministry of Public Safety. The goal of the workshops was to discuss the main initiatives carried out under the 2019-2023 Action Plan, that is part of the Contribution Agreement of the Gun and Gang Violence Action Fund. We are grateful to the Ministry for providing us with this opportunity to present our activities and results in relation to our Montreal Urban Safety Laboratory. This event allowed the ICPC to share its knowledge and expertise in urban safety, and to discuss with other stakeholders involved in the fight against gun violence.
On Wednesday, February 15, about a hundred people participated of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a coordinating member. The colloquium, which took place at the Centre St-Pierre, in Montreal, focused on the prevention of cyber-violence. The day was filled with engaging meetings, discussions, workshops and “braindates”.
The event began with opening remarks from Roselyne Mavungu, Director General of the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRLV), who highlighted the critical need for organizations and institutions to collaborate and work together in preventing cyber-violence, particularly among young people. Pier Alexandre Lemaire, Urban Safety Advisor for the City of Montreal’s Diversity and Social Inclusion Department, followed with an overview of RÉSAL’s past activities, emphasizing the importance of networking and the value of face-to-face interactions after three years of primarily online engagement.
Khaoula El Kahlil, Research Advisor at the CPRLV, moderated the first panel of the day, on ”Crossed views on cyber-violence”, and featured experts from various fields. Detective Sergeant, Maya Alieh, of the Montreal Police Department (SPVM) gave a presentation on key considerations to keep in mind regarding cyber investigations and how to intervene when faced with incidents of cyber violence on social networks. Stéphane Villeneuve, professor and director of the program in digital integration in the school environment at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), presented research on cyberbullying in the school environment as well as a means to better understand and prevent these situations, i.e. a training program offered to Quebec teachers. Dominique Gagné and Dave Poitras, scientific advisors from the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ), concluded the panel with a presentation on findings and proposed solutions to prevent cyber-violence in relationships
After the first panel, both panelists and participants were divided into different groups to delve deeper into current issues and best practices for preventing cyber-violence. These discussions were organized by the event’s partner, Braindate, allowing participants to share their experiences and insights with each other.
The afternoon was divided into four workshops: The first workshop, facilitated by Jeanne Plisson, Community Support Coordinator, and Sarah Grenier, Community Support Advisor, at the CPRLV, addressed ”online hate speech”. In this workshop, participants learned about definitions of hate speech, the different possible forms that hate can take and the prevailing motives for it to occur. They also presented different tools used to prevent and respond to hate speech incidents, primarily in schools.
The second workshop offered, led by Akim Laniel-Lanani, co-founder of the Clinique de cyber-criminologie at the School of Criminology at the Université de Montréal (UdeM), focused on “cyber-hygiene”. Akim presented an overview of the use of social networks by youth before discussing useful tools and resources available to promote healthy online habits.
UdeM criminology professor Isabelle Ouellet-Morin led a third workshop that provided participants with an opportunity to learn more about the research that led to the creation of the “+Fort” mobile application. This app, a collaboration of several Quebec researchers created by the Axel Centre, aims to help youth and school professionals combat and overcome harassment and cyberstalking.
The fourth workshop of the day, “Getting Connected to Equality”, was led by Léna Gauthier-Paquette, support officer for the sexuality education program of L’Anonyme. The workshop focused on a project that aims to equip youth aged 12 to 25 to develop egalitarian, safe and consensual relationships by initiating a reflection on the sharing of real and virtual public space between genders. This activity allowed participants to understand the manifestations of stereotypes, power dynamics and sexism online through an overview based on the organization’s research. The day concluded with exchanges between participants and closing remarks from the CPRLV.
Please note that proceedings of the conference will soon be published online.
As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, two cycles of theme-based activities were held in the fall of 2022.
The RÉSAL community of practice includes practitioners, community organizations and institutions that work with youth in Montreal.
Two series of training sessions were held and reached nearly 70 participants.
Street harassment and ordinary violence prevention, conducted by Audrey Simard from the Centre d’éducation et d’action des femmes and Marie-Ève Desroches from the Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal.
The training and clinical supervision activities of this theme series helped define street harassment, its concrete manifestations, and its impacts, particularly on young cisgender and trans women. The presenters provided concrete tools and strategies for dealing with this violence as victims, active witnesses, or recipients of disclosure. On the other hand, they led the participants to reflect on the ways in which community organizations and institutions such as the City of Montreal, the Société de transport de Montréal or schools can play a proactive role in the fight against street harassment and support victims.
Some of the highlights:
Street harassment includes physical, sexual, verbal, and psychological violence. It is important not to rank acts of street harassment in order of importance, as their impact depends on the experiences and traumas of the victims.
Street harassment isn’t more frequent at night than during the day, on the contrary, it mostly occurs during rush hour. Therefore, there is a difference between the perception of safety and actual safety.
Violence prevention at school, conducted by Éric Morissette professor from the University of Montreal.
Some of the highlights:
Violence in schools is common. According to studies, it is estimated that more than one-third of Quebec students experience at least one incident of verbal or physical violence at school or on the way to school.
In order to prevent violence, it is essential to conceive intervention in the school environment within an integrative model targeting various levels of intervention and the entire school environment.
Gun violence is on the rise in the Montreal metropolitan area, but also throughout Quebec (Larin 2022), and cold weapon violence is still common. However, several tragic events involving firearms have compelled the Quebec government to invest in the fight against this type of violence.
This review of literature and practice is part of these efforts to better understand the phenomenon of armed violence. It also seeks to share knowledge and experiences from measures put in place around the world to curb violence. However, armed violence is a complex phenomenon that involves more than one issue. Therefore, it is important to adopt the appropriate prevention strategies depending on the context in which armed violence is addressed in order to intervene in a comprehensive and targeted manner.
This report presents four issues that may result in weapon-related acts:
Suicide and self-inflicted violence;
Armed violence among delinquent or criminalized youth groups;
Intimate partner violence;
Incidents related to violent extremism.
This report provides insight and understanding of crime data collected under the Quebec Department of Public Safety's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR 2.2) rules from 2015 to 2020.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City of Montreal has experienced a sharp increase in certain firearm-related crimes, most of which involve young people. This issue, which must be addressed through a multi-sectoral approach and which must benefit from a concerted vision, is of particular concern to the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). The SPVM, therefore, contacted the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime in order to develop its integrated plan to combat gun violence and improve its practices.
This meeting was an opportunity for the team to share best practices from the literature, but also to exchange with 14 members of the SPVM’s internal committee of experts on the issue of the rise of gun-related violence in Montreal, on the initiatives to be implemented at the community level as well as on social media in order to prevent such violence.
Thank you to the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal for the invitation.
With the significant increase in armed violence in Montreal, which has been a major issue for several years, a question has been raised: How can we strengthen the social fabric in Montreal? Panelists invited to a special segment on the program Cap sur 2030, in which the ICPC was invited to participate, attempted to answer this question.
Michelle Côté, Director of Research at ICPC, discussed the topic with Ted Rutland, Associate Professor of Geography with a focus on municipal policy, urban planning, and urban safety in Canada, affiliated with Concordia University and a member of the Anti-Carceral Group; Louis Audet-Gosselin, Scientific and Strategic Director of the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence; and Malika Saher, lawyer and Senior Mediator at the Dr. Julien Foundation. Together, they suggested solutions to preserve and strengthen social ties in Montreal in the coming years.
Cap sur 2030 is a program on MATV that brings together a number of experts and professionals in the field to discuss inspiring and innovative ideas for building the future of Montreal for the benefit of the community and its citizens.
On October 18, 2022, ICPC had the pleasure of attending the event À présent, le grand rendez-vous montréalais sur la solidarité, l’équité et l’inclusion, organized by the City of Montreal, as part of the deployment of its Solidarity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan 2021-2025. It was an opportunity for the city to present its five major action areas for the future, the successes of the participating organizations, and to look at the objectives to be reached in the coming years.
Thank you to the City of Montreal for the invitation.
On September 22, 2022, ICPC was pleased to attend the presentation of the highlights of the research report ”Le harcèlement de rue à Montréal : un portrait statistique de la pluralité des expériences, des manifestations et des contextes” (Street harassment in Montreal: a statistical portrait of the multiplicity of experiences, manifestations and contexts). These results revealed the extent of the phenomenon of street harassment in Montreal through the analysis of residents’ experiences, using an intersectional approach. Then followed recommendations addressed to various institutional actors.
This partnership research was carried out by researchers from the University du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), the Université de Montréal (Udem) and the Centre d’éducation et d’action des femmes (CÉAF), as part of UQAM’s Service aux collectivités.