In Montreal, a surge in “porch pirate” incidents, especially around the holiday season, is causing concern among residents and local authorities.
Lauren Small-Pennefather, a Montreal West councillor responsible for public security, highlighted the regular occurrence of package thefts in the area. Despite awareness and local bylaws, thieves are becoming increasingly crafty, often tailing delivery vehicles and swiftly stealing packages left unattended.
A recent FedEx survey underscored the growing problem, revealing that one in four Canadians have experienced package theft. The rise in porch security cameras and smart doorbells has led to more recorded incidents of these thefts.
However, the Provincial Police (SQ) are cautioning residents against posting these security camera clips online, citing potential privacy violations and defamation concerns.
“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,” explained SQ communications officer Lt. Benoit Richard to CTV News. This can’t be real?!
Lt. Richard advises that evidence of theft should be reported directly to the police. “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 said.
To prevent the risk of package theft, Small-Pennefather recommends some tips. Residents can request a signature upon delivery, ensuring packages are not left unattended. Alternatively, arrangements can be made with carriers to pick up packages from their depots or Canada Post for example. But that just takes away the convenience of having toilet paper delivered to your front door.
What do you think? Do porch pirates have privacy rights at stake when they’re stealing your packages?