Online crime reporting is a success, said North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP in a press release, and they’d like to see these types of reports increase.
In the spring of 2020 the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP began accepting crime reports through an online reporting tool, which was billed as an alternative way for the public to report less serious crimes.
As of July 8, there have been 58 crimes reported through the online system. Had these files been reported in person, they would have taken approximately one hour of an officer’s shift apiece. That means the online crime reporting system has saved about 58 hours of time, time officers have spent focused on more serious high risk investigations.
“We want to further increase the use of online crime reporting for incidents that do not require police attendance. This will assist with decreasing the number of calls our 911 operators are handling and increasing police response times for less urgent matters that do require police to attend,” says Cpl. Cari Lougheed.
The following incidences are reportable online:
• Damage/mischief to property where the value is under $5,000;
• Damage/mischief to a vehicle where the value is under $5,000;
• Hit and run to property or an unoccupied vehicle;
• Theft of bicycle where the value is under $5,000;
• Theft of other property where the value is under $5,000;
• Theft from a vehicle where the value is under $5,000;
• Lost property;
• A driving complaint that is not in progress (general poor driving behaviour that includes speeding, distracted driving, or failing to follow road signs or signals).
In order to make a report online, the following conditions must be met:
• The member of the public making the online report must use your real name and have a valid email address;
• There must not be any witnesses or suspects (this restriction does not apply to driving complaints);
• Follow-up by a police officer must not be required;
• Reports must not involve personal identification (passports, drivers licences, etc.), firearms, licence plates or validation decals on licence plates;
• The user must agree to the terms and conditions of use.
Crimes that meet these standards can be reported at bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/northcowichan-duncan/report.
“In addition to providing a more convenient way for residents to make a report, this tool will minimize the amount of less serious files that are being dispatched to our frontline officers,” says Inspector Chris Bear, officer in charge of North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. “By utilizing the online reporting, it allows the police to attend the higher priority calls for service in a safe and timely fashion.”