The SPVM released a series of videos of the individuals and their attacks on residential and commercial buildings and even vehicles in "in the sectors of Côte-Saint-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Saint-Laurent and Mont-Royal" since October.
Le SPVM sollicite l'aide du public pour résoudre une série d'incendies criminels
According to the SPVM report, "the suspects proceed each time with the same modus operandi, that is to say, they use an incendiary object such as a Molotov cocktail or even spill an accelerant to ignite."
In three of the attacks, the police reported that firearms were "discharged at buildings."
The SPVM suspects that "a criminal group that is allegedly active in various fields of activity" is responsible.
Anyone with information on the attacks or who can identify the suspects is asked to call Info-Crime at 514-393-1133.
In a press release, the SPVM said the decision is part of the force's effort to combat gun violence.
The new camera locations, the press release says, "were chosen following an analysis of gun violence events that have occurred in recent months."
While the existing 24 cameras are concentrated in Ville-Marie and the southern Plateau, the new cameras will be in Lachine, the Sud-Ouest, Saint-Michel, Saint-Léonard and Montréal-Nord.
The map below shows the locations of planned and existing police security cameras in Montreal.
Often affixed to lamp posts, the existing cameras are easily visible throughout downtown and on Google Maps.
At the time of writing, the SPVM has only determined approximate locations for planned cameras (in orange), in some cases only naming street spans or parks.
"The installation of new urban security cameras is in addition to several other measures deployed by police forces in our common desire to make neighbourhoods safer and to fight gun violence," SPVM spokesperson David Shane said in the press release.
"It is an additional tool that has its usefulness, particularly in criminal investigations."
In an online FAQ, police say the cameras can help identify crime perpetrators and provide real-time footage in case of ongoing fieldwork.
Denis Coderre's party, Ensemble Montréal, says it would hire 250 more Montreal police officers if it takes power after the November municipal election.
It claims this number represents 84 positions cut since 2017 plus retirements and annual renewals. Ensemble Montréal also raised the possibility of hiring even more officers.
"The realities on the ground have changed a great deal, as have citizens' expectations of the police," Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough mayor candidate Karine Boivin Roy said in a press release.
"For the SPVM to be able to keep up with these realities and demands, police officers must be able to do their job. There are not 1001 ways: we must hire enough people."
Ensemble Montréal has said it would double the number of officers on the SPVM's Psychosocial Emergency Support Team and Mobile Homelessness Referral and Intervention Team.
The new hires are just one of the ways the party plans to augment the police force.
It's also calling for a "major force contingency fund" for "one-time public security events;" an inventory of SPVM vehicles and tools, some of which it says are obsolete; and a restructuring of oversight committees to "bring them to the forefront and to promote fruitful discussions between the communities and the SPVM."
Coderre has long called for body cameras for Montreal police officers. Ensemble Montréal says its administration would launch a call for companies who could supply them.
Finally, the party says it would evaluate public "lighting problems that encourage various forms of trafficking and criminal acts" and start a "broad consultation" on the possibility of placing surveillance cameras in what it calls "hot spots," such as metro stations.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.