The Surrey RCMP is launching a pilot project today through which residents can report some non-emergency crimes online.
On Monday the new RCMP online crime reporting tool goes live in Surrey, Richmond, Ridge Meadows and Kelowna.
For emergencies, people should still call 911.
The new online tool, at www.surreyrcmp.ca/report, comes with some caveats. According to the website, online reports will not be followed up by a police officer, and these conditions must be met: You have no witness or suspect, and there are no lost or stolen items involving personal identity, firearms, licence plates or decals.
People are also cautioned that knowingly filing a false police report is an offence.
Specifically, residents can report these crimes online: Damage or mischief to property under $5,000, damage or mischief to a vehicle under $5,000, hit-and-run to an unoccupied vehicle or property, theft of a bicycle under $5,000, theft under $5,000, theft from vehicle under $5,000 and lost property.
Sergeant Chad Greig said the new tool will free up police call-takers and police on patrol to focus on higher priority calls, “which will improve overall safety and response times in the city.”
“These specific complaints, there’s certain criteria that have to be met,” Greig said. “That’s usually there’s no witnesses, no suspects, there’s no further evidence that can be provided that an officer can investigate, so that’s why an officer would not be following up with them.
“These files are going to be reviewed by our records team and if there is something in there that potentially needs to be followed up on then of course we will take that opportunity to have an officer contact he complainant,” Greig said.
Superintendent Ed Boettcher said crime reports from the public “are an essential part of determining how our policing resources are deployed in the city. This additional reporting tool will enhance our service delivery to residents of Surrey by making it more convenient to report less serious crimes, while allowing police to focus in emergency calls for service.”