FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, February 4, 2022 9:00AM
(Ottawa) – The Ottawa Police Service and its partners are implementing a surge and contain strategy in Ottawa’s downtown neighbourhoods to further protect neighbourhoods, restore order and prevent unlawful activity.
In connection with ongoing demonstrations, Ottawa’s downtown residents and businesses continue to be severely impacted by unlawful acts, including harassment, mischief, hate crimes, and noise violations. We know that additional demonstrators are coming, and we are significantly increasing our policing resources to respond.
To prevent and reduce the impacts of demonstrators entering the downtown core, and to improve neighbourhood safety, the Ottawa Police Service is implementing the following measures – effective immediately
Major deployment of police officers in the downtown neighbourhoods: There will be approximately 150 additional uniformed and non-uniformed officers dedicated to only patrolling and addressing unlawful and threatening conduct in the most impacted neighbourhoods including: Centretown, Sandy Hill, Lowertown and the ByWard Market. This includes working with City and NCR officials to prevent unlawful and unsafe use of public space by demonstrators.
Expand and harden perimeter of the demonstration red zone: The Ottawa Police Service and City of Ottawa will be utilizing concrete and heavy equipment barricades to create no-access roadways throughout the downtown core. The City of Ottawa will be releasing a map of impacted roads later today. Protestor vehicles will be directed to designated parking zones outside of the downtown core. Illegal parking by demonstrators will result in by-law enforcement, removal and impound. If necessary, interprovincial bridges, highway off ramps and/or roads will be closed.
Enforcement directives: The surge of police officers will result in enforcement to restore public safety. This includes increased investigation enforcement and charges for all criminal acts related hate, harassment, assaults (including spitting), intimidation, and mischief.