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Fewer accidental 9-1-1 calls to Ottawa police in first 3 months of 2024

Ottawa Police headquarters on Elgin St. is seen in this undated photo. (CTV News Ottawa) Ottawa Police headquarters on Elgin St. is seen in this undated photo. (CTV News Ottawa)

Ottawa police received fewer accidental 9-1-1 calls in the first three months of the year following an update to the automatic SOS function in Android devices, according to a new report.

The report for the Ottawa Police Services Board shows there were 81,370 calls for service to the OPS computer-aided dispatch system in the first quarter of 2024, down from 100,750 calls for service in the January-March period of 2023.

Staff say there was a 42 per cent reduction in false 9-1-1 calls in the January to March period compared to the first quarter of 2023 (33,864 calls).

The report says the decrease in calls follows an update to some smartphone features.

"After making coordinated efforts to engage various manufacturers in North America and Europe, the automatic SOS function in Android devices, which had caused abnormally high levels of 9-1-1 calls, was fixed," the report says.

In 2023, there were 53,000 false 9-1-1 calls in the April to June period and 21,700 accidental calls to 9-1-1 in the October to December period.

Last year, several police services reported an increase in accidental 9-1-1 calls, and urged people to adjust the emergency settings on their mobile devices. Peel Regional Police said in June 2023 that a software update on Android devices made it "easier to dial 9-1-1 unintentionally."

Rise in shoplifting calls

Ottawa police say shoplifting reports accounted for over 44 per cent of all reports received online in the first three months of the year.

Police received 6,813 online reports in the first quarter of the year, up 29 per cent from the five year average.

"In the first quarter of 2024, there was an increase in shoplifting of 37 percent compared to 2023 Q1," staff said in the report.

"Other reports frequently received online include traffic complaints (8 per cent of Q1 online reports) as well as mischief to property (5 per cent) and theft from vehicle under 5.000 (4 per cent)." Top Stories


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