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Ottawa sees spike in property-related crimes in 2023, report shows

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The City of Ottawa saw a 12 per cent increase in crimes last year, as Ottawa police reported a rise in non-violent and property-related offences including shoplifting and thefts from motor vehicles.

The Ottawa Police Service's 2023 annual report shows the service received 427,000 calls for service in 2003, up 15 per cent from the year before.

"The rise in requests for service was primarily caused by a spike in non-dispatched 911 calls, triggered by the automated SOS feature on Android devices," staff say. "This issue, which led to an unusually high volume of emergency calls, has now been resolved."

There were 48,000 reported Criminal Code of Canada offences, excluding traffic, in the city of Ottawa in 2023, up from 43,018 calls in 2022.   Police cleared 28.4 per cent of all calls in 2023.

The crime rate was 4,430 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2023, up from 4,031 in 2022.

Police say there were 8,055 violent crimes in Ottawa last year, including 15 homicide events with 16 victims.  The report says the rise in reported violent crimes is due to an increase assaults, threats and robberies. Police reported a 40 per cent clearance rate for violent crimes, including solving 12 of the 15 homicide events, according to the report.

There were 39,945 non-violent crimes reported to Ottawa police last year, up 13.4 per cent from 2022 (35,213 reported non-violent crimes). Approximately 25 per cent of non-violent crimes were cleared by police.

"Property-related offences increased by 13 per cent in 2023 primarily due to increases in the number of thefts (including shoplifting), fraud, mischief, break and enters, and thefts from motor vehicles," the report says, saying there was a 51 per cent increase in shoplifting incidents and a 24 per cent rise in fraud calls.

Ottawa police say 1,854 vehicles were reported stolen in 2023 across the city, with 51 per cent of stolen vehicles recovered.

"A total of 188 individuals were charged in relation to vehicle thefts, and 948 stolen vehicles were recovered," police say.

Collisions

There was a rise in collisions on Ottawa roads last year, as more people returned to the roads following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The police report says there were 19,289 reported collisions in 2023, up 28 per cent from 2022.

Twenty-seven people were killed in collisions on Ottawa's roads last year, while there were 2,804 reported injuries. There were 23 fatalities on Ottawa's roads in 2022.

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