Guns and Gangs

The OPS is one of 21 partner agencies that worked to develop the City of Ottawa’s Street Violence and Gang Strategy (OSVGS).  This plan includes a four-pillar approach to resolving issues related to gang activity. One of the top priorities for the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is effectively dealing with street-level violence in the city. You have a right to feel safe in your own community. You can review the technical report on partner agency Crime Prevention Ottawa’s website, which includes a comprehensive analysis of data collected during multiple community and at-risk youth consultations and research initiatives.     

The OPS has aligned its internal strategic approach in the four key pillars outlined in the OSVGS:

  • Neighbourhood Cohesion: Build resilient children, families and communities through positive relationships in neighbourhoods affected by street-level violence.
  • Prevention: Take inclusive and preventative approaches through social development, situational measures, education, awareness and community policing.
  • Intervention: Identify intervention opportunities for children, youth and adults, including those at-risk, on the edge of joining a gang, or looking to leave gang life.
  • Enforcement and Suppression: Conduct targeted, sustained and effective enforcement.

We have coordinated and implemented proactive measures within multiple sections of the OPS,
including:  Criminal Investigations, Frontline Operations, Ottawa Police Strategic Operation Centre
(OPSOC), School Resource and Community Safety Services officers, Traffic Services, and our Tactical and
Canine Units. This coordination ensures that all officers engaged in reducing street-level violence have the
same protocols and mandates to effectively counter these activities we are seeing in our communities.

Prevention and Intervention of Violence in Ottawa (PIVOT)

In 2018, the OPS introduced the new Prevention and Intervention of Violence in Ottawa (PIVOT) unit as a social arm of G&G. While PIVOT still employs traditional enforcement and suppression techniques, it  also incorporates the other three pillars of the strategy plan.

Police rely on cooperation from residents to help resolve incidents of street violence and gang activity in our city’s neighbourhoods. The more information we receive, whether through filing a formal report or offering an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers, the more effectively the OPS can reduce and eliminate these incidents of violence. 

PIVOT is the community outreach vehicle for the Guns and Gangs Unit (G&G), where officers connect with community associations, frontline agencies, and residents to provide education and greater access to the OPS. It’s about building new partnerships and trust, particularly with under-reported areas of the city. It’s also an opportunity to connect with key stakeholders to discuss ways to counter increased street violence or gang activity in their neighbourhoods.  PIVOT met with area community associations and frontline agencies more than two dozen times in 2018. It plans to increase these outreach initiatives in 2019.

G&G strategies implemented

G&G utilizes a risk-driven approach to identify those individuals involved in street violence in our communities. These activities are focused in the Enforcement pillar of the strategy plan.

An example of this strategic risk-driven approach is the results of Project Sabotage. This seven-month focused investigation by the Guns and Gangs Unit culminated in the seizure of 24 guns, the arrest of 15 individuals and laying of 300+ criminal charges in December 2017. There have also been additional officers permanently assigned as investigators in the Guns and Gangs Unit.

The broader Service-wide approach highlights activities in the Community Cohesion, Prevention and Intervention pillars. The scope of the activities is to target the behaviour of young people who resort to violence to resolve conflicts. The concept is to proactively work with our many valued community partners to address issues prior to the escalation of violence.

But what can you do as a resident?

We value the information we receive from area residents, concerned about the health of their communities. Your tips help us close cases and get these people out of your neighbourhoods. Nobody has a right to make you feel unsafe in your own home. And we can help.

If you witness drug or gang activity in your community, you have several options to let us know about it:


  • Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa is a not-for-profit organization specializing in youth leadership and mentoring initiatives.
  • Christie Lake Kids serves economically disadvantaged children and youth by providing recreation and skill-building programs at no cost and with all barriers to participation removed.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa offers a range of opportunities and activities to youth in a safe, supportive atmosphere.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa pairs children with inspiring mentors who act as friends and role models.
  • Kids Help Phone provides youth with toll free, 24 hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counseling across the country.
  • Children and Youth Agenda sponsored by the City of Ottawa and United Way Ottawa seeks to improve access and availability of services for youth and their families through community action.
Call us
I'd like to speak to someone

Call us at (613) 236-1222, extension 7300

File a drug complaint
I'd like to file a report online

and file your report under "Drug Complaints."

Leave an anonymous tip
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You can text or call with your tip to 
Crime Stoppers

NOTE: If this is an emergency please dial 9-1-1 immediately.