A recent rash of shootings is further proof that criminal activity is increasing in Ottawa to concerning numbers.
In a report prepared for the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) on Monday, July 25, Ottawa interim police chief Steve Bell outlined that crime has increased 25 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.
"Violent crimes have risen 14 per cent so far this year, driven by increases in threats, assaults, sexual assaults and robberies," explained Bell. "There have been 35 shootings with three fatalities and seven persons injured. Hate crimes have risen six per cent with over 160 reports so far in 2022. Property offences are up across the board, up 33 per cent with 3500 more offenses, far surpassing pre-pandemic levels, and so far this year, we've already responded to over 300 overdose calls for service."
He says this is further validation of the anecdotal evidence that officers have been seeing and hearing in the community about the general unrest.
The interim chief is pointing to changing societal trends and a lack of police staffing as key reasons behind the increase.
"The (OPSB) amended the 2022 budget and did not anticipate the need for an increase in police resources, it actually anticipated a decrease," said Bell.