Community Safety Letters
On October 2, 2007, the Ottawa Police Service announced a new initiative to combat the prevalence of prostitution in area neighbourhoods.
The purpose of the Community Safety Letter is to reduce unwanted traffic and sensitize sex trade consumers and drug users of the impact of their illegal activity.
“It is known that anonymity is an important aspect of the sex trade and this letter acts to lift the veil on anonymity,” noted Ottawa Police Service, Central Division Superintendent, Gilles Larochelle. “Ottawa Police is introducing the Community Safety Letter to make sex trade consumers think twice about their actions and deter them from returning to these communities.”
The letter, tailored to each community where the incident occurs, is sent to the driver of any stopped vehicle visiting area neighborhoods for solicitation.
“We applaud the Ottawa Police's new initiative to fight prostitution,” noted Suzanne Valiquet, of Vanier B.I.A. “We need to do more to eliminate the customer in order to help women involved in the sex trade who are often victims of drug addiction.”
These communities have been victimized by sex trade activities and crack cocaine use in their neighbourhood, with crime (thefts), public nuisance, safety and security concerns. Consequently, the Ottawa Police Service has dedicated both resources and strategies to deal with these concerns.
“We fully endorse this creative strategy,” noted Pamela Connolly, Dalhousie-Somerset Safety Community representative. “Our community has no tolerance for cruising ‘johns’ and street level prostitution.”
The Community Safety Letter will not only act as a deterrent. We believe that it will also be an effective educational tool to raise awareness about the sex trade and crack cocaine use impact on our communities.
Qs & As about the Community Safety Letter program