The city of Ottawa saw a seven percent increase in violent crime in 2021, with Ottawa police saying the easing of public health measures from COVID-19 resulted in a return to the capital’s “historic level” of crime.
The Ottawa Police Department’s 2021 Annual Report shows that 36,260 Canadian Criminal Code 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 was an increase in both the total volume (7 percent) and the severity (12 percent) of violent crimes. An increase in the number of murders and attempted manslaughter influenced this outcome,” the report said.
Also contributing to the increase were more sexual assaults (14 percent), outright threats to a person (20 percent) and assault (7 percent).
“The easing of public health measures has seen crime levels return to historic levels.”
There were 15 homicides in Ottawa in 2021, up from eight in 2020. Last year, police solved nearly 80 percent of all homicides.
“This is largely due to the dedication and expertise of our homicide investigators, who have used information from a network of agents across the service, and externally with police partners, to follow up on leads,” the report says.
Police saw a “rise” in the number of shootings in 2021, with 82 reports of gunshots last year.
Ottawa police solved 41 percent of all violent crimes by 2021.
There was also a seven percent increase in nonviolent crimes in 2021. According to the police, the increase in nonviolent crimes contributed to a 32 percent increase in reported thefts from vehicles and a 19 percent increase in thefts over $ 5,000 cases.
“The increase in reported crime has returned to historic levels. This can be attributed in part to the relaxation of public health measures to control community transmission of the COVID 19 virus,” police said.
About 30 percent of non-violent crimes were solved last year.