Police insist Ottawa remains 'a safe city' following series of recent violent crimes
Ottawa police are reassuring the public about the safety of the capital following a series of recent shootings in the city.
"Ottawa compared to other major cities in Canada remains a safe city," Supt. Jamie Dunlop said.
"I encourage communities to reach out to each other and to police, it is only through partnership that we are going to ensure that our city remains safe."
The comments come after one person was shot in the Alta Vista neighbourhood Monday afternoon.
Late Friday night, a man was shot dead on Clarence Street in Lowertown.
"Another shooting in an area where we have had shootings before," Dunlop said.
Dunlop says one man faces second-degree murder charges in the Lowertown homicide.
"We do have an individual who was arrested and charged in that offence, but unfortunately it is another homicide, the ninth of this year."
Dunlop says the victim and the accused were known to each other, and the shooting was targeted.
"But I don’t know if that makes people feel better when it happened in their neighbourhood, and we certainly appreciate that."
Officers are in the neighbourhood to provide extra support.
Sylvie Bingras is the president of the Lowertown Community Association and says many residents no longer feel safe at home.
"I really believe that if we are not already a community in crisis we are getting close to it."
Bingras says now is the time for community action and not just police.
"I think that now is the time for the amazing organizations who do great work, including social services, police, city officials, us as a residents' association, business associations, to get together and be thoughtful and say, 'We can do this, we can help our community, we can help the people who live in this community,'" Bingras said.
Supt. Dunlop says all neighbourhoods remain relatively safe in Ottawa.
“Reality, year-to-date, we are down 34 percent, but when you have a number of incidents really tight succession together, you know two shootings resulting in two homicides, two individuals being hit," Dunlop said on Monday.
"Unfortunately, stabbings are relatively common in Ottawa, which is equally as dangerous. We aren’t seeing an increase, but these isolated do seem to be isolated in the sense they are not linked, we aren’t seeing some type of war, and overall violence incidents are down.
"What we want to do is focus on things like the illegal firearms that are coming into our city, that are starting to make them more relatively available to people who are willing to pay the money for them."
Dunlop says 63 guns have been seized so far in 2022, compared to 80 in all of 2021.
"Those aren’t just guns seized from crime scenes, that is from traffic stops and search warrants and information coming in from the public - which is important.”
Dunlop says, “Cities across the country are being influenced by the influx of illegal firearms,”
Dunlop says residents should not feel concerned to leave their homes.
“But I think people in Ottawa need to understand that it remains a safe city. We had major events in our city where people went out and had a great time at Bluesfest, HOPE Volleyball, things of that nature and I encourage people to continue to enjoy Ottawa for what it is.”