Port Alberni RCMP will start an online reporting program on Jan. 23, 2020 for certain crimes. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Port Alberni RCMP will start an online reporting program on Jan. 23, 2020 for certain crimes. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Port Alberni RCMP to offer online crime reporting

Website will go live on January 23, 2020

The Port Alberni RCMP are adding another tool in their crime-fighting toolbox this month.

Starting Thursday, Jan. 23, the Port Alberni RCMP will join 15 other communities across the province in implementing the B.C. RCMP Online Crime Reporting Tool.

Eight communities in B.C. piloted the project back in June 2019, and it has reportedly been met with positive results from the communities and the RCMP.

READ MORE: B.C. RCMP launches pilot to test reporting non-serious crimes online

“This tool will allow the general public to report non-emergency crimes online through the detachment website, with the goal of freeing up time for frontline personnel, including both police dispatchers and police officers, to respond to more serious crimes or emergencies,” said Inspector Brian Hunter, officer in charge of the Port Alberni detachment.

“This online system exemplifies our efforts to actively modernize our police operations here in Port Alberni and keep up with technological advances.”

It will also free up “frontline” personnel to focus on core duties, he added.

The website will allow the general public to make online reports of non-emergency crimes that fall within certain criteria. These are mostly property related crimes that are not in progress, that do not require any further follow-up by a police officer but require a police file number for insurance, etc., and where no suspects or witnesses were or are present.

Residents and business owners in the Port Alberni area with a valid email address will be able to use the Online Crime Reporting Tool through the Port Alberni RCMP website using their computers, smart phones or tablets to report a crime that meets the following criteria:

– Lost something valued at less than $5,000

– Theft of property, vehicle or bicycle under $5,000

– Damage or mischief to property or vehicle that costs less than $5,000 to repair

– Hit and run to unoccupied vehicle or property

– There are no items involving personal identity, firearms, licence plates or licence plate validation decals.

Cpl. Amelia Hayden of the Port Alberni RCMP says that until the wesbite launches on Jan. 23, all reporting must take place at the RCMP office (4444 Morton St.) or by calling the Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424.

“[The website] will allow the public to quickly and easily report incidents within the listed criteria at a time that is convenient to them,” she explained. “The website is easy to use and will guide users through the steps that should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.

“Should a reported crime fall outside of the criteria, the website will not accept the report and will re-direct the user to call the detachment to report it.”