The crime rate in the Byward market is significantly higher than in the other neighbourhoods of downtown Ottawa, according to a study conducted for the account of the community Association of the Lower Town, who cares greatly.
Conducted by two students at the master’s degree in criminology from the University of Ottawa, the study shows, for example, that crimes against the person are three times higher in the Lower Town. For crimes against property, we are talking about a difference of 200 % compared to other districts of the city centre.
In the Lower Town, the number of reports of sexual assault rose by 88 % between 2016 and 2017, while the fraud are up 61 % for the same period, for example. For flights of less than $ 5,000, the most frequently reported crime in the area, they have increased 66 % since 2015.
The report indicates that the probable causes of this upsurge of crime in the area are, among others, the poverty and the strong presence of establishments that serve alcohol.
The authors of the study believe that the methods of crime prevention must change if we hope to improve things. It indicates that “a serious commitment of stakeholders is necessary” to address the systemic problems of poverty and the vulnerability of the district.
“As long as these problems will not be solved, the crime prevention measures will continue to result in the displacement of crime. The solutions to large-scale include a sufficient number of low-income housing and a higher minimum wage in order to avoid that poverty may lead to homelessness. In addition, social services should be used as a preventative rather than reactive “, note-t-on.
According to Norman Moyer, of the community Association of the Basse-Ville, it is time that the City of Ottawa to “take its responsibilities” instead of ” accept the problem “, for example, by targeting the number of establishments that serve alcohol. He also believes that it is abnormal to be at a point where the hotels and buildings to condos with no choice other than to resort to private firms to ensure the security, stating that ” it is the job of the police “.
“The City has put in place a policy that limits the number of bars in 2008, but was never able to apply it. During this time, the number of establishments of this type has increased significantly. On the Clarence, for example, it has become a monoculture of bars and restaurants. The shops, one can count them on the fingers of one hand. You may want to lower the crime rate in the area, it becomes an explicit priority for the City and all the councillors. For the moment, it’s not “, he laments.
According to a survey conducted in June by the Association, more than one resident of the sector (53 %) had as primary concern the crime and the maintenance of order. Also, 61% of respondents claim to know someone living in the Lower City who has been a victim of a crime during the last year.