Police in the Sea to Sky have launched a new online portal that allows the public to report less serious crimes, and it should give law enforcement a better picture of crime in the corridor, according to the head of the Whistler RCMP.
Announced in a release this week, the Whistler and Pemberton RCMP are now set up to accept “non-emergency” crime reports online, which should improve crime-statistic gathering and policing efficiency for local Mounties, said Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes in a follow-up phone call.
“I hope it will give us a better picture of what’s actually happening in the community,” he said. “I’m part of the local Facebook … groups and I see post people things all the time that they consider minor in nature, and they may not report to us. Well, with this new tool, it allows people… to report to us officially, and it gives us a better understanding of what’s going on in our community.”
Among the reports local police can now accept digitally are lost or stolen items under $5,000 (with the exception of the theft of personal identity, firearms or licence plates/decals); property damage or vandalism that will cost less than $5,000 to repair; and driving complaints not in progress.
The public will need to provide a name, address, phone number and valid email in order to file a report. The process takes about 15 minutes in all.
“We are looking at ways in which people prefer to communicate and trying to make that option accessible for certain types of events,” Hayes added. “There are certainly a lot of things we need to speak to people about, especially when there are situations where there are serious crimes, witnesses or evidence to collect—that type of thing. But in circumstances where there’s not, and people are looking for a file for insurance number [for instance], or they just want us to know, I think this provides us with an opportunity go get information that we wouldn’t otherwise get.”
Hayes noted that Surrey RCMP, where he used to work, launched online reporting about four years ago. Now jurisdictions across B.C. have the same option available.
To report a crime online in Whistler or Pemberton, visit bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/whistler/report.