New system lets Calgarians report crime online
robin kuniski/for metro calgary
Petty crime just got an online intake of its very own.
The Calgary Police Service unveiled its new Citizen Online Police Report System yesterday for reporting minor criminal offenses like property damage and theft — when there is no suspect involved.
Insp. Brian Whitelaw of the Calgary Police Service said the information provided through the system will immediately filter into their databases and provide police with a broader knowledge of problem hotspots.
"There’s a lot of crime that goes unreported," Whitelaw said
"We want to know what’s going on in the community, we want to be able to have a sense of that type of crime that may go unreported."
The system takes the public about 15 minutes to report a property crime and an officer will respond within 24 hours, Whitelaw said, adding the level of services available right now will not be hindered despite the lack of personal contact.
"The reality is that we’re not able to respond to everything and so we have to make sure our resources are used as properly as we can," he said.
If successful, the system should allow cops to establish patterns of crime in an area and provide a better determination of when police should be dispatched, said Whitelaw.
Using Vancouver Police Services and American agencies as a model, Whitelaw said the system adopted by CPS is easy to use and access from the citizens’ perspective and they’ll be investigating an expansion of the service to multiple languages as well as broadening the scope of online reportable crimes in the next year.