The City of Ottawa has seen a 7% increase in violent crime in 2021, with the Ottawa Police Service saying the easing of COVID-19 public health measures has led to a return to “historic levels” in crime in the capital.
The Ottawa Police Service 2021 Annual Report indicates that 36,260 Criminal Code of Canada offenses were reported in the City of Ottawa last year. There were 7,100 reported violent crimes in Ottawa last year, up from 6,700 in 2020.
“In 2021, there were increases in both the overall volume (7%) and severity (12%) of violent crime. An increase in the number of homicides and attempted homicides influenced this result” , says the report.
“Also contributed to the increase, more sexual offenses (14%), total threats against a person (20%) and assaults (7%).
“The relaxation of public health measures has resulted in the level of crime returning to historic levels.”
There were 15 homicides in Ottawa in 2021, up from eight in 2020. Police solved nearly 80% of all homicides last year.
“This is due, in large part, to the diligence and expertise of our homicide investigators, who leveraged intelligence from a network of officers across the service and outside with law enforcement partners, to follow up on leads,” the report said.
Police have seen an “increase” in the number of shootings in 2021, with 82 reports of shootings last year.
The Ottawa Police Service solved 41% of all violent crimes in 2021.
There was also a 7% increase in non-violent offenses in 2021. According to police, a 32% increase in reported thefts from vehicles and a 19% increase in thefts over $5,000 contributed to the increase in non-violent crimes.
“The increase in reported crime has returned to historic levels. This can be partly attributed to the easing of public health measures to control community transmission of the COVID 19 virus,” police said.
About 30% of non-violent crimes were solved last year.