Ottawa police report seven per cent increase in violent crimes in 2021

Ottawa Police headquarters on Elgin St. is seen in this undated photo. (CTV News Ottawa)

The city of Ottawa saw a seven per cent increase in violent crimes in 2021, with the Ottawa Police Service saying the relaxing of COVID-19 public health measures resulted in a return to "historical levels" of crime in the capital.

The 2021 Ottawa Police Service Annual Report shows there were 36,260 reported Criminal Code of Canada offences in the city of Ottawa last year. There were 7,100 reported violent crimes in Ottawa last year, up from 6,700 in 2020.

"In 2021, there were increases in both the overall volume (7 per cent) and severity (12 per cent) of violent crime. A rise in the number of homicides and attempted homicides influenced this result," the report says.

"Also contributing to the increase were more sexual violations (14 per cent), utter threats to a person (20 per cent), and assaults (7 per cent).

"The relaxation of public health measures has resulted in the level of crime returning to historical levels."

There were 15 homicides in Ottawa in 2021, up from eight in 2020. Police solved nearly 80 per cent of all homicides last year.

"This is due, in large part, to the diligence and expertise of our homicide investigation officers, who leveraged intelligence from a network of officers service-wide, and externally with police partners, to follow up on leads," the report says.

Police saw an "uptick" in the number of shootings in 2021, with 82 reports of shots fired last year.

The Ottawa Police Service solved 41 per cent of all violent crimes in 2021.

There was also a seven per cent increase in non-violent offences in 2021. Police say contributing to the increase in non-violent crimes was a 32 per cent increase in reported thefts from vehicles and a 19 per cent increase in thefts over $5,000 cases.

"The increase in reported crime has returned to historical levels. This can be partially attributed to the easing of public health measures to control community transmission of the COVID 19 virus," police said.

Approximately 30 per cent of non-violent crimes were solved last year.