Crime isn’t just rampant in the United States, it’s hurting Canadians too.
And criminals have gotten more and more brazen in their behavior.
But now a warning that some Canadian police just issued to citizens sounds completely and totally unhinged.
Quebec police are protecting the privacy of “porch pirates”
Law officials in the Canadian province of Quebec have warned residents against posting surveillance videos on social media that come from their home security cameras.
Recorded videos from technology like Ring doorbells have become increasingly popular on social media, especially when they show “porch pirates” in the act.
The term “porch pirates” refers to people who steal packages from unsuspecting, innocent homeowners.
Many residents in Montreal West have become victims of these criminals, especially during the recent holiday season.
According to Montreal West Councilor Lauren Small-Pennefather, it’s something that they “deal with on a daily basis.”
She said the criminals are “following the [delivery] vehicles, and when they see a parcel that’s dropped off, they then go and take the parcel if nobody comes to the door to retrieve the parcel.”
But provincial police are asking citizens not to make their home surveillance footage public.
Police communications officer Lieutenant Benoit Richard said, “You cannot post the images yourself because you have to remember, in Canada, we have a presumption of innocence and posting that picture could be a violation of private life.”
“If you get some proof that somebody might have stolen something, call the police, give that proof to the police. We’ll do the investigation, bring that person to justice and file some charges,” he added.
In Canada, the privacy rights of suspected criminals are protected under the law, and even business owners are advised not to post photos or videos of alleged shoplifters on social media.
Constable Geoff Higdon said, “We always caution people that they could open themselves up to civil liability, in cases where somebody is a youth, for example.”
Both citizens and business owners in Canada could open themselves up to a civil lawsuit or defamation charges, according to provincial and federal Canadian law.
Not surprisingly, plenty of residents disagree with the law enforcement officials’ advice.
There has been a plethora of objections online, including one X user who wrote, “You ALL know every court in Canada would LOVE to rule that thieves have a reasonable right to privacy while stealing.”
It remains to be seen whether or not the residents and business owners of Quebec will continue to heed officers’ warnings.
A FedEx survey found that approximately 28 percent of Canadians have had a package stolen and that around 70 percent of online shoppers say they are somewhat worried about porch pirates stealing their packages.
For now, Lieutenant Richard advises that people call 911 as soon as they realize they’ve had a package stolen before they turn to social media.
Informed American will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.