No online access for the masses
They’re doing it in Abbotsford, but don’t expect police in the Tournament Capital to start allowing citizens to report crime online any time soon.
The Abbotsford Police Department unveiled a new program in June that allows residents of the Fraser Valley city to report certain crimes — thefts and mischiefs, for example — via the web.
But Kamloopsians — and residents of other B.C. communities served by the RCMP, as opposed to municipal forces like Abbotsford’s — won’t have that option.
RCMP Cpl. Annie Linteau, a media relations officer at E-Division headquarters in Vancouver, said the national police force isn’t in a position to begin offering such a program.
But, she said, a similar endeavour is slated to begin on a test basis in the Lower Mainland in the coming months — something that might propel the initiative provincewide.
“There’s actually a pilot program that’s planned for Surrey detachment,” she said.
“It’s yet to begin but, depending on what happens, that’s going to certainly help us decide whether we’re going to move forward with online crime reporting.”
Linteau said the RCMP wants to consider how online reporting would impact each of its detachments before going forward with it.
“Of course, we have a variety of different detachments in the province,” she said.
“We would have to determine how it would work [for each of them].”
RCMP initiatives are generally governed by a number of strict national regulations — including mandatory bilingualism and a required “common look and feel.”
Those issues don’t apply to municipal forces.
Earlier this year, for example, the RCMP’s E-Division media website was shut down briefly because press releases weren’t being published in both official languages.
Linteau was unable to say when the Surrey pilot project would begin.