RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5, 2021. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5, 2021. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

North Okanagan RCMP adding online crime reporting tool

The tool, which launches March 17, is designed to help cut down on increasing police case loads

The Vernon RCMP are making it easier to report crime in the North Okanagan.

Starting March 17, the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s new online crime reporting tool will be live and available for the public to use.

The new system will allow non-emergency crimes to be reported online through the detachment website, freeing up time for frontline personnel to respond to more serious crimes or emergencies, according to Supt. Shawna Baher.

“This modern reporting method will increase our officer’s ability to investigate serious offences and continue efforts to reduce crime in our community,” Baher said in a Thursday press release.

Police officers are experiencing an increasingly heavier investigative file load, which has prompted the BC RCMP to use a tool that has had “tremendous success” in other jurisdictions, according to the release.

The tool will cut down on the workload imposed by the most common non-emergency crime, property crime, as it won’t require officers to follow up in person.

Specifically, people will be able to report the following crimes online:

  • Lost or stolen items under $5000 (items can’t involve personal identity or firearms)
  • Property/vehicle damage or vandalism that will cost less than $5000 to repair
  • Lost or stolen license plates or decals
  • Minor traffic related complaints

Any resident or business owner in the North Okanagan detachment area — Armstrong, Coldstream, Enderby, Falkland, Lumby, Spallumcheen, and Vernon — with a valid email address will be able to access the tool, using a computer, smart phone, or tablet.

While there won’t be any direct follow-up by an officer on these reports, the RCMP says the information they provide will be no less valuable.

“Information in crime reports is collected, reviewed and analyzed by a Crime Analyst enabling us to identify crime trends, direct resources, and disrupt criminal activity with a goal of reducing crime in the community,” said Sgt. David Evans of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s Targeted Policing unit.

The online reporting tool can be found on the BC RCMP website and can be used starting March 17.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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