Ottawa residents “should demand better”

Force’s clearance rate ranked last in urban Ontario

When it comes to solving crimes, Ottawa’s police force ranks dead last in urban Ontario—prompting the local police chief to say city residents “should demand better.” In 2007, Ottawa police clearance rates (the percentage of crimes “solved”) stood at 31 per cent, putting it last among 17 Ontario forces with populations of 100,000 or more. Residents “should be saying, ‘We want to see every year that you’re improving on these numbers and nothing less,” Chief Vern White told the Ottawa Citizen. “On top of that, (they) should demand that crime go down.” Even so, Statistics Canada has placed Ottawa seventh of nine major Canadian cities for severity of crime, showing the crime that does occur there tends to be less severe. In terms of clearance rates in urban Ontario, Thunder Bay police ranked first in 2007, with an overall clearance rate of 48 per cent, followed by greater Sudbury at 47 per cent and Waterloo at 43.The provincial average was 39. Ottawa’s 2008 clearance rates will be revealed next week.

Ottawa Citizen

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.