Queen West is a Toronto street as well as a neighbourhood located along that street. As the name suggests, the Queen West neighbourhood is located along Queen Street West, primarily between University Avenue and Spadina Avenue. The neighbourhood is home to many stores, restaurants, bars and clubs. It is a busy neighbourhood that is very popular with tourists as well as Torontonians. However, like all Toronto neighbourhoods, Queen West has its share of crime. From Queen Street north to Dundas Street, between University Avenue and Spadina Avenue, there is an average of 7.23 crimes against people per 1000 people living and working in the area. There is an average of 31.03 crimes against property per 1000 in that region. South of Queen Street to Front Street, still between University Avenue and Spadina Avenue, there are 9.45 crimes against people per 1000 and 24.92 crimes against property. In June 2011 a man was attacked by a person wielding a squeegee while in his car near Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue. From CBC:
A 23-year-old man is facing assault charges after a driver was struck with a squeegee at the corner of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on Monday. Police say a driver stopped at the intersection just before 4 p.m. A man began to clean the driver’s windshield with a squeegee, according to police. The driver, a Newmarket man, told the man with the squeegee to stop. The man with the squeegee refused, police allege. The driver got out of his car and was struck in the head with the squeegee, according to police. The blow left the driver with a gash on the head. Police were called to the scene and arrested a 23-year-old man. He faces charges of assault with a weapon. The driver was taken to hospital and released later.
This story shows how it is important to be aware of the situation that you are in at all times. While getting out of your car to stop someone from harassing you may seem like a good idea, it turned out to be the wrong one in this situation. When dealing with strangers you never know how they will act or how they will react to your actions so it is important to be careful. Unfortunately, crime can happen at any time and it is important to be aware. In January 2011, slightly further west, on Queen Street near Portland Street, a man was murdered while out celebrating the new year. It was the city’s first murder of 2011. Portland Street is located between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street. A 20-year-old was stabbed and killed in a nearby alley. One of his friends was stabbed as well, but he survived the attack. Apparently the victim was approached by a group of people and one of them was holding a video camera. They asked the victim about his New Year’s resolutions and filmed his response. At some point an argument ensued and the man with the video camera left the scene.  He returned later and stabbed the victim and his 19-year-old friend. From the Toronto Sun:
The two pals, who came into the city with a group of friends to ring in the new year at the Tattoo Rock Parlour, were lured to a laneway after a bizarre incident and then attacked, Ecklund said. “They were on the street at the end of the night when a group of people approached them with a video camera pointing the camera’s bright light in their faces and asking them about their new year’s resolutions,” Ecklund said. The youths were unhappy about the bright light and asked to be left alone, he said. About an hour later, a guy who had been with the cameraman allegedly returned with a black-handled knife, convinced the pair to meet him in the alley and then stabbed them. One man was pronounced dead soon after arriving in hospital.
Video surveillance from nearby businesses captured the attack on camera. In this case, as well as in many other cases, this security camera footage is incredibly valuable to the investigation. According to CBC News “homicide investigators said earlier they believed it wouldn’t take very long to identify the suspect because security camera images from the area of Queen Street West clearly show the attacker.” Installing security cameras at your home or business will not only allow you to see and record criminal behaviour in order to protect yourself, but in the event of a crime this footage can be used by law enforcement to identify suspects and prosecute them. Video surveillance footage is a powerful tool in the fight against crime.