Ottawa Police Services Board
May 26, 2014
Chief’s Verbal Report
Earlier today we had the opportunity to participate in the Special Olympics Torch Run in downtown Ottawa. The Ottawa Police has been a proud supporter of the Special Olympics and I want to thank all the members who participated including Deputy Chief Ed Keeley, A/D/C D. Sweet, Supt. M. Flanagan, and Detective Sherry Jordan was the organizer once again. 2014 marks the 27th anniversary of the arrival of the Torch Run to Canada. Last year alone $1.5 million was raised in Ontario.
Sexual Assaults Investigation
I would like to start off this evening by congratulating the investigators and members who have spent months working on a series of sexual assaults in the community. On May 15 our service arrested 25-year-old Yousef Hussein and laid several charges including six counts of Sexual Assault. This arrest could not have happened without the courage of the women who came forward to report the crimes committed against them. I also want to thank the public for their tips that greatly aided the investigation. The investigation into this matter and the other unsolved sexual assaults is ongoing.
Ottawa Youth Charged with “Swatting”
On May 8th OPS members arrested a 16-year old Ottawa resident in relation to a cyber crime investigation involving “swatting.” The term refers to an individual engaging emergency service responders with false calls related to serious crimes in progress with the hopes of creating a large response. The Ottawa youth – who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act – is a suspect in at least 30 incidents across North America. He has been charged with 60 criminal offences including Public Mischief, Mischief to Property, Uttering Death Threats and Conveying False Information with Intent to Alarm. The joint investigation involved agencies in Canada and the United States. I want to thank our members who worked with partners like the Halton Regional Police, Laval Police, Sûreté du Quebec, Calgary Police Service and the FBI.
Human Trafficking Charges laid against two persons formerly with Diplomatic Status
Earlier this month, our central district investigators laid Human Trafficking charges against a couple with diplomatic status. The investigation began following a third party complaint into allegations of human trafficking for labour of a 26 year old woman. She had entered the country legally to work as a nanny for the couple. The investigation found that she was exploited for financial and material benefit from July 2009 to December 2013 at the private residence of the couple. The OPS worked with Foreign Affairs and Canada Border Services to complete the investigation. The two accused have left the country surrendering their diplomatic credentials. The victim was relocated to a safe location. I want to make special note of Constable Karen Stephen’s continued dedication and hard work during this investigation to assist the victim in this matter and the investigations.
Purse Snatching – Carlingwood Area
We have all been disturbed at the recent rash of purse snatchings in the Carlingwood area. The troubling fact of these incidents is that the suspect appears to be targeting vulnerable seniors. We are working hard at identifying the individual responsible for these incidents so as to not have anyone else victimized. We have been in contact with Councillor Taylor’s office and are working closely with him to provide some safety messaging.
Canada Road Safety Week
Traffic safety remains a priority for our service and our members were pleased to work with partners during Canada Road Safety Week from May 13 to 19. The target for this year were the four the top four killers on our roads: impaired driving, distracted driving, improper seatbelt use and aggressive driving. Officers issued 395 speed infractions, 42 distracted driving infractions and 25 seatbelt infractions. During the week, there were two child seatbelt clinics held in cooperation with Ottawa Public Health and three RIDE check points set up during the week. In total, there were 1825 Provincial Offence Notices issued for all offences.
I am pleased to announce that OPS Constables Carolyn Botting and Kelly Lyle were recently awarded a prestigious honour at the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement (OWLE) Banquet in the category of Team Endeavour. Constables Botting and Lyle were recognized for their work in ensuring justice prevailed following a lengthy investigation into teen prostitution and pimping which was made very public in the media. On January 29, one teenage girl was found guilty of numerous charges including Human Trafficking. The investigation, which began in June 2012, also saw two other teen girls enter “mid-trial” guilty pleas for their roles in this prostitution ring.
Police Week – Continued success
We saw tremendous success during many of our outreach initiatives during Police Week. Our 3 main displays were extremely well attended by many community members as well as Board and City Council members. We also held a one-day Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day during that same week. I am pleased to report that we doubled the amount of prescription drugs brought in that day compared to a similar event last year. Drug Drop-Off Box locations in both the east-end and west-end were set up to ensure members of the public had a convenient method for disposing of their unwanted or no longer needed prescription drugs. Thank you to all our members, volunteers and partners who made Police week 2014 a great success.
Finally, I want to speak about the recent shootings our officers are investigating. Just this weekend, our officers responded two shootings. The first occurred on the Queensway near Bronson Ave. and appeared to target a group of women. In the second incident several shots were fired at a group of employees from a local nightclub in a laneway off Elgin St. Fortunately, no one was injured in either incident and we are investigating. The issue of gun violence in our community and the presence of gangs are priority a service. So far this year, we have seen fifteen shootings this year, seven of them gang related. Most of them were targeted but still the threat of bystanders being hurt is ever present and real. I know that the solution to these issues will involve a combination of working with community partners to dissuade youth from gangs and also a strong enforcement strategy that demonstrates this community’s and police service’s unwillingness to tolerate this type of violence. Our investigators are diligently working at finding those responsible.