A new online reporting system for low-stakes crime is slated to go live on Wednesday, but old-school phone calls will continue to be accepted by Kamloops Mounties.
The online reporting tool is intended to be used in cases of theft and other relatively minor complaints.
“We are hoping this tool will encourage people who might not otherwise call with a complaint — perhaps they think their crime is not worth it to bother the police — to use the online tool and make the report,” RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said.
The tool has been implemented on a pilot basis in Surrey, Kelowna, Ridge Meadows and Richmond. Shelkie said the RCMP’s goal is to eventually have it in place in detachments across British Columbia.
“Since it is being done provincially, there is an exchange of information,” she said.
“I think it will take a while for the public to think of online crime reporting as the norm, but once that happens, we expect the tool to be used frequently.”
According to Mounties, crimes like mischief under $5,000, hit and run of an unoccupied vehicle or property, theft of bicycle, theft under $5,000 and lost property could be reported using the online tool — but only in cases where there are no witnesses or suspect names, no damages over $5,000 and no firearms involved.
Implementation of the service is not expected to impact operations at the Kamloops RCMP’s Battle Street detachment and is not slated to result in any savings or additional cost.
“The computer system will load it directly into the Kamloops RCMP file-generating computer system,” Shelkie said.
“From there, the files will be dealt with by the watch clerks, who have always dealt with the files at this stage.”
Shelkie said officers do not typically touch files at that stage, noting that won’t change.
Crimes can still be reported by phone at 250-828-3000 or, in the case of an emergency, by calling 911.