Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Car theft: tougher penalties considered

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Data provided by the Canada Border Services Agency shows an increase in the number of stolen vehicles .

The Canadian Press

The federal government is considering strengthening criminal penalties against those who steal cars, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday at the opening of a national summit in Ottawa on the best way to fight the scourge of car theft. x27;automobiles.

The increase in the number of car thefts occurring in recent years is alarming, he declared in front of five of his ministers, police chiefs, and officials from the automobile industry and the insurance sector in particular.

The Minister of Justice, Arif Virani, also affirmed that he will closely examine the Criminal Code, although robust measures are already planned to combat vehicle theft.

The government will adopt measures to prohibit the importation, sale and use of computer hacking devices capable of detecting the signal of electronic keys which are used to commit these crimes, announced the Minister of Industry, François-Philippe Champagne.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the opening of the national summit to combat car theft.

Vehicle thefts are increasingly violent , noted Quebec Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel. Moreover, the same day, a Montreal police officer was injured when a car thief drove into her in a vehicle.

And no one is safe. The mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, said she had her own vehicle stolen.

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A vehicle is stolen every five minutes in the country, illustrated a director of Équité Association, an organization for the prevention of crime and insurance fraud. The crime is estimated to be worth $1.2 billion each year.

In Quebec, there were three times more cases of vehicle theft last year compared to 2019, noted the director general of the Sûreté du Québec, Johanne Beausoleil. She explained that the Port of Montreal is the preferred transit point for the export of stolen vehicles in Ontario and Quebec and that the majority of stolen vehicles are shipped to Africa and the Middle East. /p>

The president of the Association of Police Directors of Quebec and vice-president of the group of police chiefs of Canada, Pierre Brochet, asked the federal government for funds to correct the problem in the short term and eliminate vehicle theft. more difficult in the long run.

Mr. Brochet, who also heads the Laval police, drew up a list of issues to work on: the supply and demand of stolen vehicles, organized crime involved in these thefts, investigative work and police intelligence, sentences and bail, technological capabilities including tracking systems and vehicle security by manufacturers.

He suggests restructuring the Canada Border Services Agency in order to have a strong organization with a clear mandate.

The federal government says about 90,000 cars are stolen each year in Canada, resulting in costs of about $1 billion for policyholders and Canadian taxpayers. Car theft increasingly involves organized crime groups and, according to the government, the proceeds of these crimes are used to finance other illegal activities.

On Wednesday, the government released $28 million in new money to help combat the export of stolen vehicles, after the opposition Conservative Party (CCP) had lobbied persistently for the problem to be resolved.

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