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Online crime reporting tool being 'underutilized' in Prince George: RCMP

The tool was launched in November 2019
Fingers typing on a keyboard. (via File photo)

A pilot project for online crime reporting in Prince George appears to not be used as much as police would like to see.

Cpl. Craig Douglass says the detachment started to accept crime reports last year but from its start (Nov. 20) to May 20, police have received just 42 reports through the tool. 

"We believe this tool is being underutilized and want to increase awareness," Douglass says in a release.

"Many crimes go unreported because victims don't want to bother police or don't want to wait on hold for a non-emergency operator to take the report.  Well, this is an alternative way to report the crime, which will benefit the public and police.

"Many bike thefts go unreported, leaving no chance for the bike to be returned to the owner if it is recovered, and no chance for criminal charges if police catch the thief.  The lack of reporting only gives thieves more confidence that they won't be caught, fueling more theft.  The same can be said about property damage, lost property and other poorly reported offences."

Douglass says the more crime that's reported to police, the more accurate officers can be in targeting certain trends and those who could be responsible. 

The tool also helps police, as well as call-takers, focus on higher priority calls which help response time for more serious situations. 

You cannot report crimes, such as crimes against person(s). 

"We analyze reported crime to determine where and how we deploy resources," Douglass adds. 

"The more crime is reported, the more accurate we can be with targeting crime trends and those responsible."

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