Reduce Risk to Your Business During COVID 19

Since the beginning of March, we are seeing a 70% increase in break and enters across the city. The Ottawa Police Service has initiated a targeted proactive patrol initiative, tailored to the new reality of the majority of the City’s businesses being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with regular patrols, Ottawa Police has identified sectors throughout the city with a high concentration of restaurants, small businesses and manufacturing industries. The sectors are further broken down into sub-sectors, where officers are assigned specific areas to patrol during their shift.

The increased officer presence is to prevent crimes and keep our city and businesses safe.

The Ottawa Police would like to remind residents that effective and efficient policing can only be achieved through a collaborative effort and partnership. If you see anything suspicious, call police immediately at 613-236-1222 so we can assess and respond.

What you can do to protect your property

 Business owners 

  • Remove all valuables from store front displays. This can reduce smash and grab scenarios such as jewelry and electronic stores. 
  • Remove all valuables such as cash from the till and leave open. Place the cash tray in plain view on the counter to signal there’s no money in the till. 
  • Consider installing an alarm monitoring system. If you already have one, ensure the contact list is up to date.
  • Clearly post signage on the door/window to indicate the business is:
    • Monitored by alarm company;
    • No money is kept on premises; and
    • Contact information for the police and business owner in the event a member of the public observes damage to property or suspicious activity.
  • If the business is closed for an extended period of time, clean all glass surfaces and create a tracking log of when cleaning was completed. This may assist investigators with suspect fingerprints if a break in occurs.
  • Consider installing a surveillance camera system that can be monitored online by owner/management.
  • Consider using a laminate on all windows and glass doors to increase glass integrity from blunt force. Although damage to glass will occur in a break-in attempt, it will greatly discourage or prevent entry. 
  •  Install latch guards on doors to protect against prying, this should include secondary doors such as employee and loading entrances.
  •  Keep some lighting on inside for surveillance opportunities during the evening. 
  •  Ensure all doors are properly secured and regularly check all exterior lighting is functioning.
  • Remove material around the exterior of property that maybe be used to gain entry into the premises (brick, metal poles and construction materials)

General protective measures for all property owners 

  • Keep the interior, front and rear entrances well lighted.
  • Keep advertising and merchandise out of windows as much as possible.
  • Always keep the rear and side doors locked.
  • Maintain a record of decoy or "bait" currency to be given to a robber.
  •  Be sure your alarms are in good working order at all times.
  • Do not open your place of business before or after regular business hours.
  • Avoid routine procedures which can be observed and used to the advantage of would-be robbers.
  • Call the police if a request is received to open after regular hours.

Learn more about preventing retail robberies.