There is a huge confusion out in the community about where to report problems and how to get help, according to Nancy Worsfold, the executive director of Crime Prevention Ottawa.
Many people don’t know who to call for a noise complaint (bylaw officers), or if patrons are consistently being overserved at the local bar (the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) or who to call to close off their street for a block party (311).
“Communities need to know that there is help and ways of addressing those issues,” said Worsfold.
To help people get more involved in their community, Crime Prevention Ottawa has launched an online Neighbourhood Toolkit. Crimepreventionottawa.ca is intended to be a resource to help individuals and community groups create a safer, more engaged neighbourhood, said Rideau-Rockcliffe councillor and CPO chair Jacques Legendre.
“This is a tool that will help them be more effective sooner,” he said.
Knowing where to go and who to connect with can make a big difference in helping a troubled neighbourhood turn things around, said Ottawa police Chief Vern White.
“The community often needs assistance from other agencies, such as the police, and of groups,” said White. “This toolkit will help all of us engage better in those communities and make them more successful.”