Ottawa Police Service Launches New Community Safety Data Portal to Help Communities Stay Safe and Informed

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has just recently launched its new Community Safety Data Portal. The portal allows members of the public to view, download, and interact with data released by the OPS. This makes police activity, information, and data released by the OPS more accessible to the Ottawa community, including condominium board members, staff, owners, residents, and visitors looking to take steps to minimize risks and promote safety in their communities.

The portal includes an interactive Crime Map that allows users to query crime activity and filter them by specific criminal offences and the time and date the incidents occurred. These can be further filtered according to police division, City ward, sector, or neighbourhood. This map includes crime occurrences from the current year to the previous day.

The portal also provides OPS analytics for Ottawa in the last five years regarding overdose calls for service, criminal and non-criminal incidents motivated by hate or bias, homicides, shootings, bike thefts, motor vehicle thefts, as well as criminal offences in general. The portal allows members of the public to filter these analytics based on the year, month, or day of the week the incidents occurred, as well as by police division, City ward, sector, or neighbourhood.

It is important to note that certain information, which cannot be made public, such as information on sex offenders, is not published on the portal. The location data in the portal have also been geo-masked to the nearest road intersection to protect personal privacy. This means that points on the map do not indicate precisely where an incident occurred and should not be used to determine a specific location.

OPS also notes that because calls for service and police activity do not always indicate a criminal incident, this portal should not be used for purposes of comparing or making decisions regarding the crime levels or safety of the various regions within Ottawa. Information regarding non-reportable and unfounded reports, or incidents not reported to the OPS are also not published in the portal.

Overall, this portal is a welcome innovation as it provides the Ottawa community with transparent, easily accessible information, and a better understanding of OPS procedures and operations. This allows the Ottawa public to be equal participants in crime prevention efforts and in promoting safety within their communities.

This portal will be especially helpful for condominium boards, residents, and visitors, as it allows them to better understand any safety or security concerns in their neighbourhood and helps them assess whether steps need to be taken to address particular concerns. For example, if motor vehicle thefts and bike thefts are an issue in their specific neighbourhood, the condominium board may consider increasing their security measures. Residents and visitors may also consider taking precautions to ensure their cars and/or bikes are not stolen by installing wheel locks and/or heavy-duty bike locks.

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