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Montreal police receive hundreds of calls about people breaking public health guidelines

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WATCH: Montreal Police receive hundreds of calls about people breaking public health guidelines – Oct 14, 2020

While police have stepped up their patrols in the province’s red zones, people are reportedly still flouting public health guidelines.

In Montreal alone, hundreds of complaints were called in over the past two weeks.

Montreal Police (SPVM) said in a tweet that during the period between Oct. 4 and 11, they received 765 reports of incidents in which people were not respecting public health guidelines across the city.

Read more: Quebecers flouting coronavirus rules can expect hefty fines, premier warns

According to the SPVM, officers issued 28 tickets, inspected 29 licensed establishments, 146 schools and 355 other locations.

City councillor Marvin Rotrand says handing out fines is “dissuasive”.

“It’s dissuasive indeed and the level of fines is high, but it’s not nearly as high as it is in a lot of other jurisdictions, including in Ontario which is nearby,” Rotrand said.

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Provincial police also carried out their own operation on the roads.

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From Oct. 5 to 11, Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers handed out 12 tickets, 2,661 warnings and 13,366 drivers were informed about current government restrictions, according to a tweet posted by the force.

Police are allowed to issue $1,000 tickets to people who don’t follow the rules in areas considered red zones, places where cases of COVID-19 are surging.

Montreal has been in a red zone since Oct. 1.

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Rotrand says that there has been a perception that police were targeting minorities when it came to handing out tickets.
But now he says, things are different.

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“I think that message has passed from politicians to police departments,” the councillor said.

“They understand sensitivity of the situation and I think they have been trying to do it in a way that the public can support and they think is reasonable.”

Read more: Montrealers urged to visit local parks as city limits access to Mount Royal to curb COVID-19 spread

Neither Montreal nor Quebec provincial police are commenting on the numbers they released.

Stricter public health restrictions are in place until at least Oct. 28.