Starting on Thursday, May 21, residents of the area served by the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment have a new way to report crime.
The detachment has begun accepting crime reports online, providing an alternate way for the public to report less serious offences and it has benefits for the police as well.
“In addition to providing a more convenient way for residents to make a report, this tool will minimize the amount of less-serious files that are being dispatched to our frontline officers,” said Insp. Chris Bear, the officer in charge of the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment. “By utilizing the online reporting, it allows the police to attend the higher priority calls for service in a safe and timely fashion.”
Crimes that can be reported online are limited to the following:
• Damage/mischief to property where the value is under $5,000
• Damage/mischief to a vehicle where the value is under $5,000
• Hit and run to property or an unoccupied vehicle
• Theft of bicycle where the value is under $5,000
• Theft of other property where the value is under $5,000
• Theft from a vehicle where the value is under $5,000
• Lost property
• A driving complaint that is not in progress (general poor driving behaviour that includes speeding, distracted driving, or failing to follow road signs or signals)
There are several other restrictions to the process. There must not be any witnesses or suspects, with the exception of driving complaints. Follow-up by a police officer must not be required. And reports must not involve personal identification such as passports or driver’s licences, firearms, licence places, or licence plate validation stickers.
The online reporting service has been rolled out gradually. Surrey, Kelowna, Ridge Meadows and Richmond became the first detachments to offer it in June 2019, and communities throughout B.C. have added the service in recent months. North Cowichan/Duncan is part of the fourth wave of rollout. None of Shawnigan Lake, Lake Cowichan or Ladysmith have the feature at this time.
In making an online report, the individual must use his or her real name and have a valid email address, and will have to agree to terms and conditions.
Reports can be made at https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/northcowichan-duncan/en