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Robberies down 21 per cent in Ottawa year-over-year

Ottawa Police have seen a 21 per cent plunge in robberies year-over-year.

According to Ottawa Police, while bank and retail robberies have remained relatively stagnant street-level robberies have taken a tumble.

"Our personal robberies are down right now 42 per cent, which is 41 fewer than this time last year," said Staff Sgt. Mike Haarbosch, with the Robbery Unit.

Swarmings, he said, were down just over 26 per cent - a difference of 40 incidents.

Retail robberies are down 3 per cent, while bank robberies have plunged by 10 per cent.

Overall, year-to-date, police have investigated 72 fewer robbery complaints this year than last.

Haarbosch told CFRA one of the reasons for the plunge in personal robberies and swarmings could be the cell phone blacklist instituted in Canada last October.

"The cellular and telephone blacklist is having an impact and we continue to see that with our stats coming down year-to-date," he said.

The cell phone blacklist prevents devices that have been reported stolen from being reactivated, rendering them useless.

"I'm hopeful that the market for those devices has been taken away by the use of the blacklist," said Haarbosch.

Haarbosch said another reason personal robberies and swarmings are down could be the fact that there are no new model cell phones out this year.

"The devices that are out there now, specifically the iPhones have been around for a little bit, so we haven't seen another new device that's high in demand come online like we have over the last couple of years and if we have that now we have the blacklist in place that will hopefully trump or supercede the demand for that new device," he said.

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