Ottawa – Today representatives involved in the delivery of policing, safety and community support services to west end neighbourhoods met to discuss concrete steps to be taken together to address the recent episodes of violence in the Bay Ward area.
Members at the table included:
- Deputy Mayor & Ottawa City Councillor Mark Taylor
- Representatives of the Ottawa Police Service
- Ottawa Community Housing
- Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre
- Michele Heights Community House
- Britannia Woods Community House
- Crime Prevention Ottawa
- Ottawa By-law & Regulatory Services
- Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa, Youth Outreach Worker Program
- Crime Stoppers
The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has been active in increasing enforcement activity and enhanced visibility in the community and this has yielded results. Recently a crime gun was recovered and charges laid. Additionally, OPS has just concluded two operations both resulting in charges, making streets safer.
In addition to ongoing Police efforts, Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) has agreed to a pilot deployment of surveillance cameras in common outdoor areas identified by Police and recommended in concert with OCH Community Safety Services and the local community as being known hot spots for illegal activity.
Additional short term enhanced patrol vigilance will continue, adapting to circumstances.
The partners have agreed to deploy the recently signed Problem Address Framework in the west end community over the coming month while also adding external supports such as the United Neighbors Levers Of Change program recently funded by the Government of Ontario through the Trillium Foundation.
This framework and approach includes real tools that:
- Creates information sharing between partners to prevent crime
- Strengthens agencies’ abilities to work together to ensure problem residences and their tenants are being addressed collaboratively
- Speeds up the ability of authorities to crack down on known offenders and sites
- Seeks to prevent the attraction of youth to crime
- Provides opportunities for crime involved youth to leave that lifestyle, and
- Works with the community to create long term solutions that leave behind a legacy of community safety
“These neighbourhoods and the many good people in them have been paying the price for the criminal activity of a select few. These residents deserve the opportunity to get a good education, good jobs and a good future and we are committed to ensuring that can take place in their community.” – Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor, Councillor for Bay Ward
“OCH is committed to ensuring our tenants live in safe, healthy and secure communities. We truly believe that enabling dialogue, supporting and encouraging programs within our communities, and working closely together with our tenants and partners are key actions that will help us reach our goal and deter criminal activities.” – Stephane Giguere, C.E.O., Ottawa Community Housing
“Gang activity and the associated gun violence is a concern for our community and the Ottawa Police Service. It is important for stakeholders to come together on this issue. Our Service knows that tackling the issues of guns and gangs has to be shared with the community. We will continue to work with our partners on a community-wide gang strategy, of which enforcement, prevention and education are key pillars.” – Insp. Sterling Hartley, Ottawa Police Service
“We need many minds, tools and resources to bring about successful and lasting change in these communities.”– Mohamed Sofa, Britannia Woods Community House Coordinator
“Collaborative, multi-stakeholder responses to entrenched neighbourhood problems are the target of the Problem Address Framework. We are excited to see the first pilot of this agreement in the west end. ”– Nancy Worsfold, Executive Director, Crime Prevention Ottawa
“We have been privileged to work with these neighbourhoods over a number of years. Through collaboration with residents there is some very positive programming that brings neighbours together. We look forward to continuing this work in partnership with residents and our service provider partners to ensure a safe and healthy community for all.” – Wanda MacDonald, C.E.O., Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre
A further public meeting will be held by all the partners together in January. The purpose at that time will be to collect feedback and input from residents on the response to these recent events and continue to solicit their input on new strategies and how they are working. At that point it is our collective wish that members of the public wanting to help these community efforts step forward and take on leadership roles.
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Office of Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor
City of Ottawa