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Surveillance in Toronto: How Private Investigators Can Help Your Community

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The city of Toronto has recently announced that it will spend $3 million in new surveillance equipment. This surveillance equipment is expected to help local law enforcement keep the streets safer from gun-related crime. While many people consider this a good approach, a good private investigator knows that more goes into solving a gun-related crime than simply setting up more video cameras. A private investigator that works in Toronto first and foremost wants to help his or her community. A good private investigator will always help keep people safe. It is for this reason that working together with a community, a private investigator can often bring more surveillance tools to the table to prevent gun violence in the long-term. 

For Toronto, the city is focused on many different areas of improvement. Local police, however, find themselves facing one major problem: gang-related gun violence. Keep reading to find out more about this issue. 

The Issue: Gang Gun Violence in Toronto

Gun violence is a topic of conversation on many Canadian’s lips, especially in the city of Toronto. According to Global News, over the August long weekend, over three days, a total of 17 people were taken to hospital. All injuries caused were the result of gun violence. So far this year, Toronto police have responded to 244 gun-related incidences. While not as high as other years, any casualty of a gun-related event is always taken seriously. The harm and danger to the public that gun violence creates are simply not acceptable. 

So, what does Toronto plan to do to make the city safe for all its communities? 

The Plan: Install Video Surveillance Equipment

In Toronto, the challenge in dealing with gun violence is that it is often gang-related. As mentioned above, to try and solve the problem, the city plans to install more video surveillance cameras. Community leaders and local regional police will determine the locations of the cameras. This Toronto project has received $3 million in funding, with an estimated $28 million in funding over four years to try and prevent gang and gun violence. 

What this plan is attempting to solve is the lack of information Toronto police receive when investigating a gun-related crime. As you can imagine, because most gun incidents in the city are related to gang violence, witnesses aren’t very forthcoming with statements. The goal of installing more cameras is to capture the event as it happens. Toronto police can then use the video to pick up on details about the suspect and the victim. It can help the investigation team to solve the case. 

Video surveillance equipment also has another effect on those who commit violent acts. By law, in Toronto, and other areas of Canada like, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton and more, the city must identify areas where video surveillance is set-up. Therefore, the city warns anyone who decides to commit a violent act that he or she will be caught on camera. It doesn’t always work, but in many cases, the person will think twice before taking action.  

Surveillance: Tools and Techniques

In general, video surveillance is part of a larger network of surveillance techniques. 

While helpful, video surveillance doesn’t always catch the criminal. As private investigators that work the streets of Toronto, we’ve seen how criminals work. They often know exactly where surveillance cameras are located. Criminals in Toronto also often operate at hours where captured footage is too dark, or grainy to make out in detail. 

Another issue is that police in Toronto often don’t have the time to work the case. It’s not their fault, the city does have a large population, which makes it difficult to monitor. It is for this reason that private investigators use a wide variety of surveillance tools, techniques, and services in their investigation. Some of these techniques include,

‘Stake-Out’ Surveillance 

This type of surveillance requires a private investigator to observe a suspect in a particular location. For example, a private investigator will likely sit in an unmarked vehicle outside the suspect’s home or work. The private investigator will then watch the suspect and record what he or she does during the day and/or night. 

The purpose of this type of surveillance is to gather evidence. This evidence is basically what the suspect gets up to during the day. Let’s say that the private investigator witnesses the sale of a handgun, or maybe the suspect shows the handgun to a friend. The private investigator can take photos, video recordings, and make notes on what he or she witnessed. When taken properly, the evidence can then be used in a Toronto court of law. 

Undercover Surveillance

In some situations, a private investigator will go undercover. What this means is that the private investigator will try to become close with the suspect or the suspect’s friends. The private investigator will observe and record everything that happens while they are undercover. If they spot anything suspicious, or outright illegal, it can be used to arrest and convict the suspect. 

In Toronto and other areas of Canada like Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, the dangers of undercover surveillance remain the same. Undercover surveillance requires a team of well-trained private investigators. The reason for this is because if the suspect catches the undercover private investigator, it puts the private investigator’s life at risk. Undercover work requires careful planning and consideration before any attempt at surveillance is made. 

‘On Foot’ Surveillance 

It is also possible for a private investigator or private investigator team to run surveillance on foot. What this means is that a private investigator will follow the suspect at a discreet distance as they go about their day. For example, let’s say that the suspect goes shopping on a Thursday afternoon. A private investigator will follow the suspect as they go from store to store. The private investigator might also work with other private investigators to cover a larger area. On foot, the private investigators will watch the suspect for any suspicious activity. The private investigators will record whatever they witness during their surveillance. 

Ask an Expert: Private Investigators in Toronto

Private investigators often get calls from local police for help in many different types of cases. It’s quite common for a private investigator to get a call when it comes to surveillance. The reason for this is because many police officers do not have the time to stake out a suspect’s residence or to follow the suspect for many hours. 

In the case of Toronto’s gun violence issue, putting in video surveillance might help to curb some criminal activity. However, when it comes to addressing the bigger issue of gang gun violence, it will take a very large team to put a stop to the activity. 

So, what can you do to make sure that your Toronto community and the people that live there remain safe? 

Help Your Community: Talk to a Local PI

Do you feel that the city’s plan to install more video surveillance isn’t enough? You’re not alone. Many communities across Toronto want to know that more is being done to prevent gun violence. The best advice we have is to talk to the private investigators that work in your area. A good private investigator will always want to help and provide advice where he or she can. 

Are you concerned about gun violence in your community? Maybe you have another concern that you think a Private investigator or private investigation team can help you with. Whatever the issue, contact a private investigation agency that provides service in Toronto, like The Smith Investigation Agency. A good private investigator will answer your question and work with you to try and build up and help your community. 

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