Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for 2021-05-03

Odd, no Monday post. So here are the last three pending posts from Neighbourhood Watch:

  • Check on seniors during ongoing pandemic.
  • Frontline patrol launches Project Handlebar – Stolen bike recovery.
  • Project NoiseMaker targets speeding, stunt driving and excessive noise on city streets.


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

– Alex

—– Forwarded Message —–
Subject: Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for April 27, 2021
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2021 09:20:58 -0400
From: Darren Joseph <wellingtoncpc@gmail.com>

Contact Cst. Stephanie Lemieux directly (east of O-Train, Line 2) at lemieuxs@ottawapolice.ca or 613-236-1222, ext. 5287.

Contact Cst. Darren Joseph directly (west of O-Train, Line 2) at josephd@ottawapolice.ca or 613-236-1222, ext. 5871.

*************************************

Check on seniors during ongoing pandemic

The Ottawa Police Service Elder Abuse Unit is concerned that seniors continue to be at risk of ongoing isolation during the pandemic. Although physical distancing is key to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we encourage people to maintain open communication (e.g. phone or video calls, and emails, etc.) with older family members, friends and neighbours.

We are all in this together. To support each other, start with a wellness check of an aging family member and/or friend. That conversation can make a difference and break the isolation.

If you know of a vulnerable senior who is struggling with mental health, or needing to obtain groceries, health care, or social services, you can contact 2-1-1 to connect with a number of social services in Ontario or any of these local community resources. The Ottawa Distress Centre at 613-238-3311 or 1-866-996-0991, is also available 24/7 for mental health support and resources.

Elder abuse is defined as any act or gesture that harms or threatens to harm an older person (65 or older). Abuse is any single or repeated act, threat, lack of appropriate action compromising the safety or wellbeing of an older person. It includes physical, sexual, financial and psychological abuse as well as neglect.

The Ottawa Police Service has an Elder Abuse Information Line – 613-236-1222, ext. 2400 – a non-emergency information line that is managed by the Victim Crisis Unit crisis counselors who provide information, crisis counseling and resources to vulnerable persons and victims of elder abuse.  For emergencies where the safety of a senior is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

We recognize that the risk for elder abuse can increase during these uncertain times. If you have concerns relating to an older person in a retirement home or a long-term care home, speak with the Director of Care. If the concerns are not resolved, you can make a complaint to the governing bodies for the Home (i.e. Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care).

We understand that victims of elder abuse may not want police involvement. Although we encourage all incidents to be reported, there are various community resources available online in cases where victims or families choose not to contact police.

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

Frontline patrol launches Project Handlebar

Frontline Patrol officers with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) have been hard at work, leveraging 529 Garage to recover stolen bicycles in the city and return them to their happy owners.

Last fall’s Project Hot Wheels saw the recovery of more than 44 bicycles, with an estimated value of $30,000, but that was just the start for Constables Samson Vo, Richard Zulys and Ryan Cuthbert of D Platoon.

On top of their regular patrol duties, these officers launched a second campaign this winter, Project Handlebar, that has to-date recovered another 72 bikes with a value of about $70,000 – 54 of those bikes already returned to their owners.

“We are really invested in this,” said Cst. Richard Zulys “we often chip away at recovering these bikes when we are not out on active calls.”

The officers use 529 Garage, a bicycle registration app, along with other investigative tools to help identify stolen bicycles. They credit the app with making it easier and faster to get them back to their owners if they have already registered with the program.

“That’s important, you need to register ahead of time in order for the app to help us help you,” said Cst. Samson Vo.

529 Garage is a bicycle registration app, introduced in 2019 in partnership with the OPS, Bike Ottawa and Safer Roads Ottawa. The app is easy to use, you simply download it to your smartphone and take a few photos of your bike and register your serial number. For more information on the app and how to complete registration, please visit www.ottawapolice.ca/endbiketheft.

The trio, with the help of Sergeant Evan Hung, are working on further developing new policies that will help create efficiencies in bike theft response. One of those ideas includes a plan to set aside storage space at Elgin Station to provide easier access for residents recovering their bikes.

“We identified that there are barriers to successfully returning bikes to some owners,” said Cst. Ryan Cuthbert. “Not everyone can get to our Swansea Crescent location, so we wanted to do something to make it easier and more effective.”

These officers are additionally reaching out to other platoons to identify leaders who can help train their fellow officers on bike theft recovery and the 529 Garage app.

“We have taken the lessons we learned from Project Hot Wheels and employed them with Project Handlebar,” said Cst. Zulys. “It’s helped us to streamline how we are educating other officers.”

They also credit social media and the active cycling community in Ottawa for helping them to recover stolen bicycles. Facebook groups like Stolen Bikes Ottawa often provide valuable tips that our officers use to investigate and follow up.

Most bike thefts in the city often involve repeat offenders, and sharing information about these people help police network, identify and recover more stolen bikes.

“Some bicycles are a significant financial investment, so it’s important that you protect your property and register with 529 Garage,” added Cst. Zulys.

Pre-registering with 529 Garage also helps police establish a chain of ownership, which can assist officers in charging individuals with those crimes.

“For those reluctant to press charges, we can simply take a statement (affidavit) and a photograph of the bicycle that can be presented in court, without you even having to attend,” concluded Cst. Vo. “We want to encourage you to follow through on filing a report so we can charge people engaged with stealing bicycles, who are typically repeat offenders.”

You can report a theft online at www.ottawapolice.ca/onlinereporting, or you can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by dialing 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Project NoiseMaker targets speeding, stunt driving and excessive noise on city streets

Project NoiseMaker, a traffic safety initiative aimed at reducing speeding, stunt driving and excessive noise on city streets, will be back starting May 1st.

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) Traffic Unit has launched the project in response to community complaints, to reduce the number of collisions, injuries and deaths on our city streets.

“Ottawa streets are not meant to be treated as anyone’s personal race track,” said Ottawa Police Traffic Unit Sgt. Rob Cairns. “Officers will be out during the daytime, evenings and weekends to ensure everyone, especially families and children, are safe on our roads and in their neighbourhoods.”

This is the second year for the program. In the 2020 edition of the project, officers stopped an average of 10 stunt drivers each week and issued 2,300 tickets including approximately 1400 for speeding.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an increase in unsafe activity on Ottawa roads.

Since April 1st, the OPS issued over 4,000 Provincial Offence Notices (PON). One such incident involved a driver that was stopped and charged for a fourth time for stunt driving.

A stunt driving charge is laid when a driver or rider is going 50km/h or more over the posted limit. They face a significant fine (starting at $2,000), a 7-day vehicle seizure a 7-day driving suspension and a court date.

Excessive/unnecessary noise is typically generated from aftermarket modifications to vehicle muffler and exhaust systems. Fines for an improper muffler are $110. However, if the vehicle has a modified exhaust and is missing emissions control equipment, a fine of $365 can be issued under the Environmental Protection Act. OPS officers have the authority to serve such fines, and the equipment to detect violations.

This year’s traffic enforcement results and safety messages will be featured on multiple social media platforms under the themes of #GetThereWithCare #MuffleTheMuffler #NoiseMaker.

Dangerous driving that represents an immediate danger to public safety should be reported to 911.  Other traffic safety complaints can be made online.

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