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Security in the Village: Plante says progress is underway, but more time is needed


Montreal's mayor and police chief visited the Village on Thursday, hoping to reassure residents and business owners concerned about security.

For years now, locals have pointed to an increase in crime, homelessness, and drug use in the neighbourhood.

"It's hard to find employees. It's hard to find customers sometimes. It's hard to keep customers because the street has some issues, then they have to deal with that every day," said Gabrielle Rondy, executive director of the neighbourhood merchants' association.

Last summer, Mayor Valerie Plante promised to do something about it.

According to Montreal Police Chief Fady Dagher, over the past year, his officers have upped their presence in the area.

"We had over 7,000 hours dedicated in the Village," he told reporters.

Additionally, EMMIS, the city's mobile team of social workers, carried out more than 11,000 interventions in the neighbourhood alone.

"We did put together a lot of efforts since last year to assure the security. And we know it's not all resolved and it's not perfect, because it takes different measures," said Plante.

But the opposition at City Hall says the results aren't good enough.

Ensemble Montreal's Benoit Langevin says nothing is going to change without more resources for the homeless population.

"[The] reality is that shelters are full since last October, and it's been said in the media clearly. So where are you going to bring these people?" he said.

Rondy is hopeful that the effects of Montreal's efforts will be felt sooner rather than later.

"We're hoping all these measures are going to help."  

LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: Ensemble Montreal's Benoit Langevin laments lack of resources for homeless population in The Village Top Stories

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