Well-guarded F1 parties

It’s not just tourists who take advantage of the Grand Prix to venture out into the city’s trendy bars, but criminals of all stripes who see it as a networking experience.

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“Tonight, we want to pamper ourselves in terms of intelligence,” Commander David Paradis told the fifty or so police officers present at the Montreal City Police Department (SPVM) headquarters early Friday evening.

Team Eclipse, primarily aimed at combating gun violence and gathering intelligence on criminal groups in the city, will not be idle during the second day of the Grand Prix du Canada festivities.

Accompanied by colleagues from Laval, Longueuil, Roussillon, and Sûreté du Québec, the squad’s police and intelligence officers spent the night crossing establishments on prominent Montreal streets to keep tabs on criminals.

As soon as they arrived at an open-air club on Beale Street at 9 p.m., the team of about fifteen police officers discovered a table with several familiar faces, where wine and fort were already flowing freely.

Filmed by clients

Target customers quickly take out their phones to photograph the scene, as police officers successively attempt to recognize faces and note the names of the individuals present.

It is estimated that about 80% of the twenty people in this container referred for the occasion are known to the police departments.

“If they have weapons, they will keep quiet,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Pierre-Marc Holi.

After about twenty minutes, the group of police continues their way to the back of this ephemeral strip. A table catches their eye, because the outlaw cyclists, including some Hell’s Angels, are sitting there.

People who were noticed earlier on the front, themselves associated with street gangs, come to join them.

“He talks between the two,” the agent notes.

At 10 pm, the police group finally left the scene and continued on Beale Street, in the rain that frightened many tourists and racing enthusiasts.

Attention Agents

Passers-by notice their majestic presence.

“It’s an army!” I did not do anything ! The young man laughs when he passes them.

“Oh shit! A young woman just yells a few meters away.

From the pier, the guards peek at the terraces of the various restaurants where lobster and other foods line the tables.

They also discuss with doormen and business owners in order to establish new links.

“Sometimes they call us back afterwards, when they see something,” says Mr. Hall.

Around 10:40 p.m., the police moved into the trendy bar of a five-star hotel on Drummond Street, where a small line had already formed outside.

From the first minutes, they do not feel welcome in the luxurious rooms sometimes used as a restaurant, sometimes as a club.

annoying presence

In a sign that sex tourism was in full swing, police were able to monitor “offers of service” on the spot.

“Here, our presence is a bit worrisome,” said Agent Martin Bernard.

But their visit to this institution was not in vain in the end. A few steps from the exit, the police meet a major player in the Italian mafia in Montreal, clearly disturbed by their presence.

The clients won’t bother him, but they promise to come back to note who he’ll be sitting with, by the end of their night, at 4am yesterday.

♦ Since Friday night’s Eclipse operations were aimed at customers and not the institutions themselves, Newspaper He preferred not to mention the names of the places he visited.

Objectives of the night observation operation

  • Ensure security around and inside bars
  • Responding to gun violence around licensed bars and establishments
  • Fight pimping in the context of the Grand Prix
  • Gathering information about criminal topics seen in the places visited

The police are everywhere

  • The SPVM Eclipse group welcomed colleagues from the police departments of Laval, Longueuil, Roussillon and Sûreté du Québec at the weekend.

There are people who will come [des banlieues] which our police officers don’t necessarily know, so it makes our job easier,” explains SPVM Commander David Paradis.

  • Fifty or so police officers were able to share valuable information about individuals living in other cities.
  • Several of these police forces also met last May, during the first Hells Angels-related party since the pandemic began.

“It’s a practice we want to bring up on a more regular basis, because we’re much more effective when we do it like that,” says Mr. Paradis.

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