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Problem addresses

Community members are often the eyes and ears of the police, especially when it comes to a problem address. If you notice suspicious or possibly criminal activity in your neighbourhood, call the police. To report it anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.

Always use common sense and practice safety when dealing with a problem property in your neighbourhood. It may not be a good idea to approach or enter the property. You do not know who is living there or if they have animals to protect the house. You could get yourself into a very dangerous situation. It’s better to make the call to police and let them know about the property.

Recognizing a drug house in your neighbourhood

Drug sales often happen in homes. Here are the signs that a home in your neighbourhood could be a drug house:

  • Occupants seem paranoid, unfriendly or secretive
  • Shades or blinds are always closed
  • Unusually extensive security measures around the house
  • Address seems to have people acting as lookouts
  • Many short visits to the address by people in vehicles, on bicycles, or on foot
  • Visits happen at odd hours, such as the middle of the night
  • Visitors often bring personal property and leave without it
  • Money or small packages change hands
  • High levels of theft in the surrounding area
  • Drug paraphernalia at or near the location, such as very small zip-lock plastic baggies, small bundled or twisted pieces of cellophane, small pieces of balloon, hypodermic needles and needle caps or small glass vials or pipes

To find out more tips on how to spot drug houses, visit the OPS website.

Dangers of a marijuana grow-op

Grow-ops can be a real problem. Homes used for these purposes have structural, fire and air quality dangers associated with them. They also attract criminals to your neighbourhood. Here are some of the things you need to know about them:

  • Grow-ops use a great deal of electricity, so holes are often drilled in the foundation to allow residents to steal utilities.
  • Lives wires are also often left exposed, causing a fire hazard.
  • Excess moisture from the heat and humidity of the operation can result in the mould forming and window and door frames rotting—sometimes causing severe structural damage.
  • The use of chemicals and fertilizers can damage air quality.

All of these things are dangerous to the next tenant or owner of a house, so reporting a grow house is important.

How to recognize a marijuana grow-op

  • A grow house will often not have a “lived-in” feel to it, as many operations do not have people living inside.
  • The house may also have covered windows, excessive moisture on windows and possibly even strong, earth and rot smells coming from it.
  • Residents may notice power surges as grow houses will usually steal electricity from the grid to power their operations.
  • Many different visitors may be coming and going at odd hours.

If you notice any or all of these signs, report the property to police by calling 613-236-1222, ext. 7300. You can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 613-233-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-222-8477.

Find out how to recognize a grow house on the CBC website.

Crime Prevention Ottawa also provides safety tips in its publication  “Safety and Security in Rental Buildings: An Information Guide for Ottawa’s Residential Landlords.”