Many of you may have heard reports about an assault near campus. These reports may be alarming to you.
Yesterday (Sunday, April 13), Montreal police provided to us a summary of their investigation into reports of various incidents in or around the Milton-Parc community to the east of the downtown campus in recent weeks.
According to police, one McGill student was the victim of an off-campus attack the night of April 1-2 and required treatment in a hospital for injuries inflicted by a knife.
No other incident involves a McGill student in any way other than as a witness.
Here is a summary other incidents in the area in the last month as recounted to McGill by Commander Stéphane Bélanger of Station 38:
On April 10-11, a McGill student discovered a person who appeared to be stabbed in the Milton-Parc area. Police went door-to-door to find out more information. It turned out this was a suicide attempt. The victim, who is not a student, survived. It was not a case of someone being attacked and stabbed by an assailant.
There have been two sexual assaults in the past month in the general area. One of these involved a student (not from McGill). But in both cases, the victims knew their attackers and police have taken appropriate action. There have been no reports of women being accosted by an unknown assailant lurking anywhere in the Milton-Parc community.
The Commander of Station 20 has reported no untoward incidents.
The Montreal police have concluded there is nothing unusual taking place in the Milton-Parc community. There is no evidence of an individual waiting to prey on students or anyone else.
Nonetheless, the University values the safety of the members of the McGill community, and we want to remind you all of some procedures that are recommended to protect your safety at all times, as well as some resources available to students studying late at night.
1. Many of you will be staying late on campus these days to study for your finals. If you leave the campus after dark, and you must walk alone, please call Walksafe (514-398-2498) for an escort. Walksafe is a student-run volunteer service. They are available Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to midnight, and, on Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. They work in pairs, have reflective jackets and carry walkie-talkies.
If there is no reply, or they are not available, call Security at 514-398-3000; a Security agent will accompany you to a place from which you can continue your trip home safely.
2. Avoid shortcuts through back lanes, whatever the weather.
3. To reduce the chance of theft, carry only as much cash as you need. Keep valuables (e.g., passports, visas) that you do not need handy in a secure place at home.
4. When walking alone after dark, keep your ears open; that means turning off the iPod or MP3 player for the duration of your journey.
5. It is a good idea to keep your cash, credit card, ID card, driver's licence and other critical items separate from other items. If an individual grabs your purse or backpack, let it go. Your safety and well-being are more important than the value of your belongings.
6. Do make a mental note of the location of emergency phones as you cross the campus. In case of an incident, call McGill Security at 514-398-3000 as soon as possible. They can often respond faster than the police. Security will then contact Montreal police.
7. Suspicious persons and events can be reported to Security at 514-398-3000. They are on campus 24/7. If you are on campus, you can also push the button on any emergency phone marked with a blue light.
You have a variety of options to increase your personal safety. These options include walking with someone in the Milton-Parc area after dark and using the Walksafe and Security Services.
Please call us if you have questions or concerns. We can be reached jane.everett [at] mcgill.ca and pierre.barbarie [at] mcgill.ca