26 November 2012



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service








That the Ottawa Police Services Board receive this report for information.




The Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) is a collaborative performance reporting effort among 14 municipalities across the Province, along with the Cities of Calgary and Winnipeg.  The annual performance benchmarking report presents some 900 measures spanning 37 public service areas and describes some factors influencing the delivery of each service.  An Ottawa Police representative participates on the Ontario Chiefs of Police (OACP) Expert Panel which reviews submitted data for consistency and relevancy to the OMBI process.  The OMBI publicly released its 2011 Performance Benchmarking Report on 15 October 2012, with police-related performance measures being presented herein.




The OACP Panel identified a number of measures falling under community impact, service level, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.  For police performance, seven measures are publicly released:


§  Number of Police Staff (Officers and Civilians) per 100,000 population is used to gauge police service levels based on authorized staffing.  With 212 police staff/100,000 residents, the Ottawa Police has fallen below the median rate of 221, but remains in the middle of the comparator group (range is 183 to 297).  With no changes in authorized complement in the past few years, the ratio is expected to change as population of the city continues to grow (Ottawa was at the mid-point, or median, in 2008 and 2009);


§  Total Crime Rate – is the reported number of Criminal Code of Canada incidents (non-traffic) per 100,000 population[1].  Ottawa’s 2011 crime rate was 3,950, compared to the Ontario median of 4,670, maintaining a similar placement/trend over the past three years;


§  Crime Severity Index (CSI) – is now incorporated within the OMBI measurement system.  The CSI recognizes the impact/severity of differing types of crime, in conjunction with counts of criminal occurrences and crime rates (where the lower the index number, the more positive/relative safety of a community).  The 2011 CSI for Canada is 78, while Ottawa’s CSI for 2011 fell to 58 from 61 2010 and from 68 in 2009, twenty index points below the provincial median (range is 34 to 109);


§  Violent Crime Rate – is generally the crime category of the most interest to residents and visitors and can provide an indication of community safety (although the perception and/or feeling of safety may differ from the statistical counts/rate).  Reporting 566 violent criminal code incidents/100,000 population (down from 600 in 2010 and 644 in 2009), Ottawa is substantially below the provincial median rate of 908;


§  Violent Crime Severity Index – the Violent Crime Severity Index includes all violent offences (homicide, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault, robbery, criminal harassment, uttering threats, forcible confinement/kidnapping), with Robbery having the largest influence on the Index.  Ottawa’s 2011 VCSI is 64 (down from 69 in 2010 and 80 in 2009), and is below the provincial median of 69;


§  Clearance Rate for Violent Crime – criminal incidents are considered cleared when a charge is laid or recommended, or when cleared by other means.  A variety of factors impact the police’s ability to solve crimes against the person, including the public’s assistance in providing information.  Clearance rates are reported in the year an incident is cleared, regardless of when a crime might have occurred.  With a 62 percent clearance rate for violent crimes in 2011, the Ottawa Police falls below the provincial median of 76 percent.  Two other services fall below Ottawa (57% and 60%), while two services reported the highest clearance rate at 80 percent and another two reported 79 percent;


§  Number of Criminal Code offences per Officer – provides an indication of workload, but does not fully capture the breadth of police activities such as traffic and drug enforcement, crime prevention activities, or assistance to victims.  On average, Ottawa officers handled 27 CCC incidents each in 2011 (identical to 2010), but below the Provincial median of 31.  Six other services reported a rate lower than Ottawa’s. 


The OMBI Police Expert Panel noted a number of influencing factors including, but not limited to, the number of non-residents (including visitors, college/university students), the presence of specialized facilities such as airports or casinos, locally-determined call response protocols, along with changes in local demographic, social and economic conditions.  In Ottawa’s case, its role as the Nation`s Capital, its size (2,757 km2), and urban, suburban, and rural geography, along with the proximity to the City of Gatineau across the Ottawa River, makes it somewhat unique in Canada.


The following table summarizes how the Ottawa Police compares to the median of the OMBI-reporting municipal police services in Ontario.  Because placement below or above the median can be positive or negative, the various measures have been grouped as either ‘favourable’ or ‘not favourable’, depending on the generally perceived desirability of placement on the respective measure.


Ottawa Police Compared to 2011 Provincial Median:

Publicly and Non-Publicly Reported Police Performance Measures


Note: changes from 2010 to 2011 shown in italics


While there is room for improvement in some categories (i.e. violent crime and total clearance rates), the Ottawa Police generally compares favourably overall to the other OMBI-reporting police services in Ontario.  An increase of five dollars in the 2011 operating costs/total police staff results in the placement of this indicator in the non-favourable category relative to the provincial median.




Similar to the OMBI reports presented to the Board since 2005, the 2011 report presents selected indicators and data with which to gauge Ottawa Police performance against a provincial median.


Ottawa Police representatives will continue to serve on the OACP/OMBI Police Expert Panel, the national Police Information and Statistics (POLIS) Committee, the Executive Development Program at the Canadian Police College, and other venues that contribute to the ongoing discussion, improvement, and transparency of police performance measures.


The Board will also continue to receive quarterly performance information updates as part of the performance measurement framework contained in the 2010-2012 Plan for a Safer Community. 


Finally, the Ottawa Police is working collaboratively with the City and will be ready to incorporate the Balanced Scorecard into its performance monitoring and reporting when the City implements its Scorecard.



(original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police





Responsible for report:  Superintendent Terrance Cheslock













This document contains information that reports on activities related to the Ottawa Police Business Plan.

[1] OMBI-reported crime rate will likely differ from that published by Statistics Canada due to different population figures used – more current municipal estimates versus census figures