The Terrace and Prince Rupert RCMP detachments launched a pilot Online Crime Reporting tool last week on Jan. 23.
The idea behind the initiative is to alleviate some of the workload on officers and to make it more accessible for the public to report non-serious crime.
The online crime reporting system is for any files that police do not have to go in person to attend, which is expected to take a lot of unnecessary paperwork off their plate and free up their time for more serious crime.
Residents will be able to report crime online through an app or through the online website.
“So if somebody’s bicycle is stolen in their backyard, and the value is under $5,000 with no suspects, no witnesses, or no video, but just the serial number they can just go on to the website, they type in all the information and they get a police file number and track it,” explains RCMP S.SGT. Pascal Baldinger from Prince Rupert.
Crimes involving witnesses or suspects must go through a police officer as well as cases of lost identification such as a stolen passport.
This year’s crime severity index will also be affected due to a change in the way Statistics Canada has police report on crime.
Previously, when complaints were received, it was possible to report them to StatsCan as unsubstantiated, meaning they are unable to confirm or deny that offences actually occurred. Since January 2019 scoring of unsubstantiated was removed, resulting in an increase in the number of founded offences.