The 2017 Ottawa Police Service Annual Report and Ward Profiles was released this week.
Highlights from the report:
- With approximately 34,500 reported CCC (Criminal Code of Canada) offences (excluding traffic) in the City of Ottawa, the level of reported crime increased by 4 percent last year.
- The clearance rate for total CCC offences (excluding traffic) improved slightly in 2017 with 37 percent of all cases cleared by charge or cleared otherwise.
- Ottawa’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) rose by 1 percent last year to 49 – the Violent CSI increased by five percent to 58; while the Non-Violent CSI decreased by 1 percent to 45.
- The volume of reported non-violent crime in Ottawa remains unchanged from the previous year. Theft under $5,000 decreased by 2 percent in 2017; fraud (mostly due to a rise in credit card related incidents) increased by 16 percent; while mischief and break and enters each decreased by about 7 percent.
- The rate of violent crime per 100,000 residents in Ottawa grew by 20 percent in 2017. This was driven by a rise in uttering threats, harassing communications, assaults and sexual violations due to internal process changes, greater public awareness and improved access to reporting online.
Analysis of the increase in reported crime:
In 2017, the OPS saw an increase in reported crime including violent crime. The analysis indicates this is partially due to changes in our reporting and coding processes. Staff have encouraged and increased reporting of crime through OPS’ new online reporting system.
New processes have been put in place in how the OPS codes high-frequency but low-risk calls where there is no suspect, no evidence, no immediate danger, or no witnesses to be immediately interviewed at the scene. These calls can include assaults, threats, suspicious incidents, and disturbances which contributed to the violent crime increase.
Police Reporting Unit agents now capture information for these call types that is subsequently followed up on by our investigative units. Based on the information provided when the call is received, incidents are generally now reported as a criminal offence.
Further analysis is being done on how the service responds to these call types.
While 2017 saw a decrease of homicides from 2016, the number of shootings and shots fired with no injuries increased. The OPS invested in our Guns and Gangs Unit by adding personnel and focusing on an organization wide effort to respond to that activity.
For more information regarding the report and to learn how to report an offence online, please visit www.ottawapolice.ca.