A drop in thefts and other property crimes in the capital is behind an 11 per cent crime rate decrease from 2012 to 2013, Ottawa police say.

The Ottawa Police Service released its annual report Thursday in advance of next Monday's meeting of the police services board.

Not including traffic offences, police laid 32,472 criminal code charges last year, or about 4,000 fewer charges than the previous year.

Driving this change was a 16 per cent drop in thefts and other property crimes across the city. Break and enters, for example, dropped 20 per cent, from 2,750 to 2,210 instances.

And among violent crimes, robberies also dropped 13 per cent — from 672 in 2012 and 582 in 2013.

Police said the changes in robberies hides another shift — as swarmings rose and store robberies declined. For example, pharmacy robberies dropped from 51 in 2012 to 13 in 2013.

Violent crime increased 10 per cent, but police say this is mostly due to a change in how they classified partner assaults, and said incidents of assault reported to police actually dropped.

There were nine homicides in 2013, and six attempted murder cases.

Police drew their guns 40 more times than previous year.

There were also 443 instances in which police filed use of force reports, a decline from previous years. But police drew their guns 252 times and pointed them 204 times, in both cases about 40 times more than they did in 2012.

Only once did police shoot a person, and in that instance the injuries were not fatal.

Police chief Charles Bordeleau said in a statement accompanying the release that Ottawa is a safe city.

"I am so proud of the commitment and dedication of our members who work every day to keep residents safe," he said.