Police in the Canadian province of Quebec warned citizens against posting surveillance footage of their packages being stolen because it could violate the “private life” of the alleged thieves.
“Montreal West is known for its large porches, but around the holidays, those porches are a big target for thieves or ‘porch pirates,’” CTV News Montreal videojournalist Olivia O’Malley reported on Saturday. “’It’s something we deal with on a daily basis,’ said Montreal West councilor responsible for public security Lauren Small-Pennefather.
“You have people that are following the 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,” Small-Pennefather told CTV.
However, the province’s local police force, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) warned local citizens against sharing footage of alleged porch thieves.
“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,” SQ communications officer Lt. Benoit Richard warned.
“If you get some proof that somebody might have stolen something, call the police, give that proof to the police,” he said. “We’ll do the investigation, bring that person to justice and file some charges.”
People who post security footage of their packages being stolen could face potential defamation charges according to CTV.
The comments from the law enforcement officer sparked backlash and disbelief that Canadians could face legal trouble for posting home security footage of their packages being stolen.
“It’s 2024, so of course the police care more about criminals than victims of crime,” Canadian journalist Ezra Levant wrote.
“The Quebec police are saying this because it embarrasses them in how much theft occurs without consequence,” conservative commentator Chris Tomlinson wrote. “Report it to them and they’ll file it away and pretend it never happened.”
“The world has gone mad,” author and host of YouTube’s The Factual Feminist. Christina Hoff Sommers wrote.
The Sûreté du Québec didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.