You aren’t going to catch too many handguns around east Scarborough if the only bait is a couple of small ads in the washrooms at a pair of local McDonald’s.
It’s been two years since Toronto Crime Stoppers first provided cash for tips on the locations of illegal handguns, and east Scarborough may not have much luck this time around.
With an offer of $500 for each tip received, “Cash for Guns” is aimed at preventing violence using ads across the city, the organization says. After re-launching on Oct. 23, the program placed advertisements across the city to get people more involved and interested in giving information on the locations of illegal guns.
In 2005, tips led to the discovery of an automatic handgun in a sewer in Scarborough, among many other locations across the city. With 164 tips turning up 22 illegal handguns, the program was proven a success.
Unfortunately, only two ads are located in east Scarborough – the first, in a McDonald’s washroom stall at Markham and Progress roads, and the other at Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue East.
Where will that get the city?
East Scarborough needs more ads in bus shelters, billboards and bathrooms, and throughout schools and businesses.
Those in McDonald’s were donated by Zoom Media, who were also responsible for choosing the locations.
What are also non-existent in east Scarborough are the billboard ads that Crime Stoppers has placed in various locations in downtown Toronto.
Shot in various settings throughout Toronto, the ads are presented as six distinct posters, including one where a human-sized gun is stuffed in a dumpster and another wedged under a bed mattress, identifying that, with these tips, guns can be almost anywhere.
With the campaign lasting until mid-November, more widespread ads throughout the city would put a heavier emphasis on the importance of the campaign, and grab the attention of more residents.
Without more advertisements, the campaign may be less effective. Especially for those who do not regularly visit McDonald’s in east Scarborough.