Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for 2021-03-08

This week’s topics and a previous one:

  • Education, awareness and enforcement campaign around collisions.
  • Unpredictable ice.
  • Missing 14-year-old youths to locate.

If you’re interested in helping out, see our Neighbourhood Watch Page.

– Alex

—– Forwarded Message —–
Subject: Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for March 8, 2021
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2021 13:50:09 -0500
From: Darren Joseph <>

1.  Education, awareness and enforcement campaign around collisions

No one wants to be in a collision, but they happen anyway. In Ottawa, we average 40 collisions every 24 hours, and that’s on good weather days. That number can triple when driving conditions are poor.

The Ottawa Police Service, in partnership with Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa By-law Services and Safer Roads Ottawa is holding a public safety education, awareness and enforcement campaign around collisions.

If you are involved in a collision with more than $2000 damage or injuries, you must report it to police. For minor collisions, use the non-emergency number to get instructions. If medical attention is needed, call 911.

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to call your insurance company before you leave the scene. We encourage all drivers to know in advance what will be covered by their policy when it comes to getting a tow, vehicle repairs or a rental if needed. The fees for these services vary, so to avoid unexpected costs, check with your insurance company before getting any of these services.

If you do need a tow, know your rights.

  • Don’t accept unsolicited tows. Although illegal, some tow companies attend collision scenes without being called to get business. That’s like someone showing up at your home offering you a service you haven’t requested. You want to know what company you are dealing with. If your insurance company has a preferred tow list, use one of them.
  • Know which tow company you have called. There have been situations where a driver called for a tow and when a tow operator arrives, they assume this is the company they called. If this isn’t the case and you allow them to hook up to your vehicle, you will be responsible for some fees even if you don’t end up going with them.
  • Get a detailed written estimate before accepting a tow. This will help you avoid unexpected fees that may not be covered by your insurance.
  • You have the right to say where your vehicle is towed. Get this in writing too. Otherwise, you could be charged fees not covered by your insurance.

It is illegal for tow trucks to be within 100 metres of a collision scene unless called by an involved party. It’s not uncommon for five or six tow trucks to attend a collision scene. Their presence can interfere with emergency services efforts and creates more distraction and blockages on streets for other road users, increasing the risk to public safety. Failure to comply could result in fines under the City of Ottawa By-laws or the Highway Traffic Act.

For more information about what to do if you are involved in a collision, go to:

2.  Unpredictable ice

As the temperature rises, the Ottawa Police Service is warning residents of the dangers of thin ice and open bodies of water as well as the potential for flooding due to heavy rain and melting snow.

“Considering the heavy snowfall this winter and expected springtime-like weather, we can expect increases in groundwater runoff and possible flooding weakening ice surfaces,” said Sgt. Walt Lushman of the Ottawa Police Service’s Marine, Dive and Trails (MDT) Unit. “Ice is inherently dangerous at this time of year and always unpredictable.”

During spring snowmobile runs, it is best to stick to the trails and away from open bodies of water or thin ice. Riding after dark and consuming alcohol or drugs are factors in more than half of snowmobile-related drownings. Any ice less than about 15cm (6 inches) thick is a hazard.

Do you know the 1-10-1 Principle of cold water immersion?

  • 1 Minute = Cold Shock
  • 10 Minutes = Cold Incapacitation
  • 1 Hour = HYPOTHERMIA

Other MDT safety tips include:

  • Always supervise children playing outside who may wander or want to play near rivers, ponds, creeks or ditches etc. A child can drown in less than two inches (5 cm) of water.
  • Cold water temperatures can prevent even strong swimmers from escaping once they’ve fallen through the ice.
  • Watch your pets closely so they don’t venture near or onto thin ice.

More ice safety tips are available online.

Missing 14-year-old youths to locate

The Ottawa Police Service is asking for the public’s assistance to locate two missing 14 year old youths, Ocean Auclair-Bissonnette and Seth Ennis. They are believed to be together and have been missing since February 25, 2021. They were last seen on February 27 near Bathgate Park. There are concerns for their safety.

Ocean is described as a Caucasian boy, 5’3’’ (160 cm) slim build approximately 110 lbs (50kg).  He has chin-length dirty blond wavy hair and grey/green eyes. He was last seen wearing black coat and grey sweatpants.

Seth is described as an Indigenous boy, 5’4” (163cm), 120 lbs (54kg), medium build with a medium complexion, short black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a camouflage winter jacket with a hoodie and black sweat pants.

Anyone with information on the current whereabouts of Ocean and/or Seth is asked to call the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222.

If you have information that could assist investigators, but do not know where they are currently, please contact the Missing Persons Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 2355, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, daily.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at

Contact Cst. Darren Joseph (west of O-Train, Line 2) at or call 613-236-1222, ext. 5871.

Contact Cst. Stephanie Lemieux (east of O-Train, Line 2) at or call 613-236-1222, ext. 5287.