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Community Safety

I’ve always believed Barrhaven West is a safe place to raise a family in. That’s why I’ve called this community home for over two decades, and chose to raise my own two kids here.

I’ve always believed Barrhaven West is a safe place to raise a family in. That’s why I’ve called this community home for over two decades, and chose to raise my own two kids here. 

But recently we have seen an increased crime spike in ward 3. In 2021, the community saw a 20.7 per cent increase in crime, more than any other ward in Ottawa. We don’t have any statistics available for the first half of 2022, but I’ve heard of multiple scenarios where people’s cars have been stolen out of their driveways, broken into, or other incidents. Most, if not all of these incidents were at random and not targeted. 

Strengthen the police presence in Barrhaven

What I found most troubling was when I met Cobble Hill residents Kiranpal Singh and Ranjit Dhaliwal, who had their car stolen out of their driveway. The illegal act was caught on home security footage, and the pair wanted to hand it over to police to investigate. Ottawa Police told them to contact their insurance company and that there was nothing they could do. No report was ever taken, the footage was never reviewed, and yet similar crimes continue to happen around Barrhaven.

For over two decades there have been calls to strengthen the police presence in Barrhaven. Plans for a police station in the community were quietly forgotten about. This is not about making Barrhaven a police state or ensuring officers are stationed at every street corner. 

What I’d like to see is a team of officers stationed in Barrhaven to deal with any issues which unfold in this community of 100,000 people. Like any community, Barrhaven has its own unique needs, and a team who knows the communities interest would be better equipped to deal with them. It would also help with any proactive work to ensure issues are dealt with before they get out of hand. 

Finally, a number of incidents including swarmmingds have been reported in the Marketplace Parking lord and in the Treehouse Mike skatepark, located just next door in Barrhaven East. Many parents I’ve spoken to tell me these incidents were non-targeted, and traumatizing for their teens who had their belongings stolen and faced minor injuries. Knowing police are nearby would give parents a sense of ease knowing their teens are safe, and may also deter incidents from breaking out in the first place. 

I also believe that it is important to teach our kids the importance of having a positive relationship with police officers who are there to keep us and our communities safe. We need to teach our kids that police are approachable in case they need help. We have seen that when the relationship between community and police strengthens, everyone wins. 

Just look at the many times Police have been spotted playing basketball with a group of teens in Barrhaven or repairing a little kids bike which had its tires bent. Just recently we saw a group of Barrhaven community police officers spend their own money to replace an eight-year-old’s bike which was stolen. It’s acts like these which don’t get enough attention when we think of localized police. 

As a city as a whole we definitely need to look at how we respond to certain calls, especially anything relating to mental health. We have seen how the current system doesn’t always work. We need more trained professionals and resources on hand to ensure not only that people get the help they need, but also to ensure an already very traumatizing moment doesn’t become even more difficult. 

I am happy to see that Barrhaven does already have some form of a community police response, but it’s not enough. When other more urgent-pressing calls come up, they are among the first to be deployed. We have some great ground work already. Let’s build on that to ensure Barrhaven West is the safest community in all of Ottawa.

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