Blue Line

Ottawa Police launch strategy to improve community safety and well-being

May 21, 2024  By Ottawa Police Service

May 21, 2024, Ottawa, Ont. – The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has recently announced the launch of its Community Outreach Response and Engagement (CORE) Strategy.

An important component of the OPS’ Community Policing Strategy, CORE is an action plan focused on reducing crime in specific areas of Ottawa by dealing with the root issues. In these beginning stages, CORE will focus on enhancing public safety in the ByWard Market and Rideau Street area.

Using an evidence-based approach, CORE will leverage information at hand to allocate services and resources where they are needed most, with sustainable community-led solutions.

“The CORE Strategy represents a significant step forward in our commitment to community safety,” says Chief Eric Stubbs. “By leveraging data-driven decision-making and fostering strong partnerships, we can better understand the root causes of crime and implement sustainable solutions.”


A central element of the CORE strategy is the Neighbourhood Operations Centre (NOC), located at 50 Rideau Street. Set to be fully operational by June 3, the NOC will act as a vital coordination hub to enhance police presence and provide a collaborative space to work with local partners.

Analysis of OPS data reveals that approximately half of all downtown crime occurs in a few small areas. In direct response to community feedback, CORE will aim at increasing visible police presence in these high-priority areas. Increased police visibility not only deters and prevents crime but also enhances safety and provides visible reassurance to the community.

The fact of the matter is that a small number of repeat offenders are responsible for a significant portion of the criminal activity downtown. Some are involved in serious offences, including violent assaults, robberies, and trafficking dangerous substances such as fentanyl. Using OPS Neighbourhood Resource Teams (NRTs), the CORE strategy concentrates police efforts on addressing the actions of these individuals to reduce their impact on community residents, businesses, and visitors.

The OPS recognizes that many low-level, non-violent crimes are linked to complex issues such as substance use disorders, homelessness, and mental health challenges, where traditional law enforcement and criminal justice solutions are not effective. To address this, the OPS has collaborated closely with over thirty community partners during the past year to develop the Integrated Community Situation Table (ICST).

The ICST provides direct support to individuals at heightened risk of harm due to victimization, criminalization, overdose, or mental health crises. ICST partners offer comprehensive wrap-around services, including medical care, addiction treatment, mental health support, legal assistance, and housing options. Focusing resources on supporting individuals in this manner aims to interrupt the need for continued offending and break the cycle of criminalization, thereby reducing crime and enhancing community safety.

While the OPS relies on the ICST as an essential support resource, it is crucial to note that the ICST operates independently and is self-governing. The Table is led by co-chairs from non-profit community agencies and maintains complete autonomy from OPS.

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