Frequently Asked Questions about Online Reporting

No incident should be considered too small to report.
It's important to report all crime.

I am reporting a Theft (shoplifting) from my business or my place of employment. How can I do this?

Since January 1, 2017 non-emergency shoplifting (thefts) reports filed by corporations must be done on-line. This new process helps streamline administrative processes for both police and businesses.

Please note that the police report will only be assigned an investigator once a photo of the suspect and a statement is e-mailed to with permanent report number (e.g. 2017-1234) indicated in the subject line. These documents will be uploaded to your report once received. You cannot send your photo or statement with the Temporary report number (e.g. T8001234) as your report has not been approved and entered into our system until the permanent report number is provided to you.

I think this is a fraud/scam, do I need to send it to police?

If you have received a fraudulent phone call/email/communication and have not provided any personal information or lost any money, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 to file a report for statistical purposes.
I've been a victim of fraud, now what?

If you lost money as a result of the fraudulent communication, you may file a report online.

To prevent further loss of monetary funds, please ensure you take the following steps:

  1. Cancel your cards and notify your bank of the fraudulent activity.
  2. Ignore any further communications from the subject and inform them that you have called the police if communication persists.
  3. Keep all documentation until it is requested by an Investigator.
  4. Contact a credit bureau (Equifax or TransUnion) to see how they can help prevent identity fraud.

If you have provided personal information but have not lost any money, please contact the Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222, extension 7300 to file a report as a report cannot be filed online.

Why report my incident online?

Online reporting is quick and convenient, and reports submitted are reviewed within 24 hours. Callers with an e-mail address and internet access wishing to file a report that meets our online criteria will be redirected to do so. Once a submitted online report is approved, a file number is assigned and forwarded via email. 9-1-1 should be dialed if you are reporting a life-threatening emergency.

No incident should be considered too small to report. The information provided by members of the public helps us identify crime trends and patterns. For example, you may think your car was the only one broken into, yet your neighbour may also have experienced the same incident.

Why can't I report certain incidents online (e.g. lost property)?

If the type of report you need to submit is not available online it may be because it requires dispatching an officer or the event requires specific information which should be obtained through a conversation with a live agent or police officers.

Lost property is not a criminal matter and needs to be reported to the appropriate agency. Lost cell phones, vehicle's licence plates, bank cards or government issued identification such as driver's licence, passport, social insurance number card, health card, citizenship documents, ODSP cheques, etc are items that need to be reported to the appropriate associated agency such as Service Canada, your financial institution, Equifax or TransUnion, etc.

If the item you wish to have reported lost has a visible serial number or unique identifier, you may submit a report as this is the only manner in which ownership can be confirmed.

Can I find out if my lost property has been found by the OPS?

Yes. Contact our Property Room with a full description of the lost property at 613-236-1222 ext 5238.

If your property was lost in a taxi cab or on an OC Transpo vehicle or property, contact the company and our property room before filing a report to verify if the lost items have been found.

What do I need to file an online report?
  • Valid email address
  • Contact information
  • Any relevant information specific to the incident being reported, i.e. insurance company and policy number, vehicle ownership information.
What happens to my online report after I have submitted it?
Your report will automatically be created with the information gathered from the online forms. Your report will be reviewed by an Ottawa Police Online Reporting Agent within 24 hours. You may be contacted for additional information. An email explaining the status of your report will be sent to you once your report has been reviewed. Your report will be transferred to the Ottawa Police Service Records Management System to undergo standard investigative and analytical processes. Your report will be retained as per the Ottawa Police Service retention policy.
What do I do if my incident does not qualify for online reporting?
Some incidents require an officer to be dispatched to the crime scene to conduct an investigation; others require interaction with Police Reporting Unit agent over the phone at 613-236-1222, extension 7300, or a police officer at a police station.
Can I report a motor vehicle collision online?
No, due to the complexity of data that needs to be gathered and the need to verify collision details, most vehicle collisions require the attention of an officer, either on-scene or at a Collision Reporting Centre.
How do I report a stolen vehicle or licence plate?
Reports for stolen vehicles and licence plates must be reported immediately in order to be entered on the Canadian Police Information Centre database. Please contact the Ottawa Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222 ext 7300.
What if the incident did not occur within the City of Ottawa limits?
Report the incident to the police agency for that jurisdiction.
What is considered "evidence"?
Evidence includes any item(s) that the suspect brought to the scene and left behind. Examples include but are not limited to tools, blood, bottles, cigarettes or any item that may have fingerprints on them.
What happens if I find something left behind by the suspect (evidence)?
Items that are left behind by the suspect may help to identify him/her. If there is evidence, do not file a report online. Call Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222.
What if I require a police file number for insurance purposes?
We will only accept a report which meets the appropriate criteria. Once that has been established and an online report is filed, you will receive a temporary tracking number. Your report will be reviewed by an Agent within 24 hours. Once it is confirmed that your online report meets the criteria, an official Ottawa Police Service report number will be e-mailed to you. Only the official file number can be used for insurance purposes.
Can I cancel my online report for lost or stolen property if I found it?
Yes. Once you have entered your online report, it is kept on file. However, it is very important for us to know if and when you have located your property. You can either submit a Supplemental Report online or contact the Ottawa Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222 ext 7300 in order to modify the existing report information. If you know where your property is located and it is in possession of another individual, call 613-236-1222 for a police response. DO NOT place yourself in danger by attempting to obtain a stolen item from someone you believe may have taken it.

Can I add more information to my online report via the internet once it is submitted?

If your online report has been approved and a permanent number has been assigned and sent to you, a Supplemental Report can be added online. Otherwise you must contact the Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222 ext 7300 to have additional information added to the temporary report.

Should you have pictures or files to attach to your report, email with the permanent report number in the subject line. Be aware that no videos can be sent to this email address. Videos must be burned on a DVD or saved on a USB stick and kept until requested by the Investigating Officer.

Can I make a single online report for two separate incidents?

No. You will need to file two separate online reports since the location and time lines may differ. Should the location and time lines be the same for the two different report types and you feel this should be on a single report; contact the Ottawa Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222, ext 7300 to speak directly to an Agent.

After my online report is approved, will I be contacted by a Police Officer?

Once approved, your report is assigned to an Investigator. The Investigator will determine what course of action is required. You may or may not be contacted by the assigned investigator depending on the circumstances. For a status update, contact the Ottawa Police Reporting Unit at 613-236-1222 ext 7300. Be sure to have your report number available.