Four B.C. RCMP detachments will soon be taking reports of non-emergency crimes online.
Over the coming weeks, residents in Surrey, Kelowna Richmond and Maple Ridge will be able to access an online site where they can submit reports of certain non-emergency crimes and receive a file number immediately, the BC RCMP said in a news release Friday.
The only requirement is having a valid email address.
Chief Supt. Dave Attfield said that online reporting serves a dual purpose: allowing dispatchers and police to prioritize more serious crimes while giving residents a quicker option for less serious ones. RCMP across the province receive more than one million calls each year, or nearly half the total of all calls across the country.
“This system is not new to the BC RCMP,” Attfield said. “While several detachments had tested the tool a few years ago, we are confident that we have made improvements to the system to be able to implement it in several pilot communities.”
In order to report a crime online, it must meet the following criteria:
- Your report will not require a follow up by a police officer
- You have no witness nor suspect
- You have lost something that costs less than $5,000
- Someone has stolen something from you that costs less than $5,000
- Someone has vandalized your property or car and it will cost less than $5,000 to repair it
- There are no items involving personal identity, firearms, licence plates or decals
If the pilots are successful, the system will expand across the province, Attfield said.
The online reporting site will go live for Surrey first, on June 17, followed by Ridge Meadows and Kelowna on June 26 and Richmond on July 3.