The Grande Prairie RCMP detachment has been selected to take part in the pilot project of a new online crime reporting program.
As of June 1st, residents in the region can report select crimes online, which will then be followed up by a phone call from a police officer within five business days.
Corporal Deanna Fontaine says Grande Prairie was one of three detachments selected from across Alberta and was done so because all the pieces seemed to fit.
“It has a pretty diverse population in terms of the municipal and rural population, and a large number of support staff and RCMP members. It gives us a good number of members to [help] support rolling this out and testing it,” she explains.
It’s not an across the board solution, as the online reporting tool will be restricted to select property crimes. However, Corporal Fontaine says they looked at the online tool through the lens of property-related versus person crimes, where there is minimal risk to the public.
“If a member of the public is able to report this crime online, it’s possible it frees up space in the queue that would no longer be required for the emergency call taker at our centre to take that call,” she says.
“We take all of our reports seriously, and crime reported online would be treated the same, but this mechanism will allow our emergency call takers to focus on those calls that would affect human lives.”
In all, people will be able to report the following types of crimes through the new online portal:
- Damage/mischief to property under $5,000
- Theft of bicycle under $5,000
- Theft under $5,000
- Theft from vehicle under $5,000
- Lost property
The full launch of online crime reporting across the province will take place on June 15.