City officials have promised to “expand and harden the demonstration red zone,” referring to the Freedom Convoyas a dangerous, well-funded occupation.
In a series of tweets sent Friday morning, Ottawa police indicate they will be implementing a “surge and contain” strategy in neighbourhoods.
The crime rate in Ottawa, however, has declined during the convoy's occupation as reported Friday morning in Blacklock's Reporter:
The truckers’ blockade covers ten square blocks in the Centretown district. Preliminary police data show street crime fell sharply in the district since the protest began last Friday.
The district saw 31 police calls for robbery, assault, drug trafficking, public drunkenness, stolen vehicles, store break-ins and other crimes in the week prior to the protest. There were three reports of street crime since the protest began for mischief, robbery and auto theft. Police yesterday said data were incomplete.
“There have been no riots, injuries or deaths,” Police Chief Peter Sloly testified Wednesday at the Municipal Police Services Board. “We are arresting, charging and investigating bad actors.” All charges against truckers to date involved routine traffic violations or breach of a local noise bylaw for horn honking.
Ottawa police are taking an anti-terrorism approach, promising to target those who have provided financial aid to the convoy's anti-lockdown efforts. Police have hinted at using national intelligence agencies to gather data on Canadians who have given money and supplies to the truckers.
Police are describing the thousands of Canadians protesting their own government in their country's capital city as a well-funded 'occupation."
Ottawa officials described the convoy as “dangerous,” although the crime statistics available from police do not support that claim.
Toronto's mayor, John Tory, has likewise called for similar police enforcement on peaceful convoy demonstrators converging on Canada's largest city. Tory, in a statement released on Instagram said:
“I want to be absolutely clear that I support Toronto Police taking necessary action to prepare for this protest with a focus on doing everything they can to protect the safety of Toronto residents and businesses and to minimize any disruptions to Toronto residents and businesses as much as possible.”
Tory goes on to state that he supports “the right of all Canadians to peaceful, respectful protest” but added that Toronto “must do everything we can to avoid the type of situation currently faced by Ottawa residents and businesses."
Teams of Rebel reporters will be in Ottawa to document the treatment of the so-far peaceful protesters at the hands of the increasingly aggressive authorities. To support their independent journalism, please visit www.ConvoyReports.com