Residents living in south Ottawa communities worried about the recent rash of robberies and violent crime in the area discussed their concerns with police and city officials at a special public meeting Wednesday night.
There have been 11 robberies in the area since the start of October, 10 of which took place after Halloween and many of them armed.
Police said the victims were robbed at bus stops and while walking on footpaths in the South Keys and Uplands Drive areas. Thieves took cellphones, purses and bags, as well as cash.
Some of the robberies involved swarmings by a group of men, while others were described as one-on-one crimes.
There were also two shootings within the same time frame. On Nov. 26, residents heard shots ring out from a high-rise building near Cedarwood Drive and Walkley Road.
Monique Vandenbosch, a resident of South Keys for 14 years, worries about leaving her subdivision and said things have never been this bad.
"I think it's really frightening, and we all have to be concerned about this," said Vandenbosch.
Police said there will be an additional 20 to 28 officers walking the neighbourhoods to interact with residents and they also plan to increase the number of plainclothes officers in the area to investigate the recent crimes.
But with weapons used in more than half of the robberies, Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans said residents just want peace of mind.
"There's a lot of work being done. But ultimately the best thing that can happen is that these criminals be apprehended," said Deans.