Sooke residents can now report various crimes without going to the station themselves with Sooke RCMP’s online crime reporting tool. (File - Black Press Media)

Sooke residents can now report various crimes without going to the station themselves with Sooke RCMP’s online crime reporting tool. (File - Black Press Media)

Sooke RCMP online crime reporting ‘underutilized’

Tool introduced last year, but so far has little public uptake

Sooke RCMP would like to see more people take advantage of an innovative method for reporting crime online.

The detachment introduced the tool last year, where people can report minor crimes in which there isn’t a witness or suspect and stolen items that don’t involve personal identity, guns, license plates, or insurance decals.

It is ideal for reporting stolen items of less than a value of $5,000, vandalized property, a vehicle repair under $5,000, or a driving complaint that isn’t in progress.

READ: Sooke residents can now report crime online

“We want to encourage the community to use it more,” RCMP Sgt. Kevin Shaw said. “It’s an underutilized resource at this time. it’s proven to be an easy way to get to us for crimes that typically fit the criteria.”

A typical online report takes about 15 minutes, and officers will follow up where required.

Shaw said the Sooke detachment is still happy to field complaints through the usual channels, such as reporting in person.

Staff Sgt. Brett Sinden said at the time the crime prevention tool was launched in September 2021 that the online resource would enable police to focus on things they would not have known before.

“If there was a theft without a suspect or witness, but another resident ends up reporting a similar crime with a suspect nearby, we’re able to piece things together more efficiently,” Sinden explained at the time.

Eight detachments were part of a pilot project initially launched in June 2019.

West Shore RCMP Const. Meighan de Paas said the program had a good run at the start but then dropped off.

“It’s greatly underutilized here,” she said.

“We get a lot of reports called in that would suitable for online reporting, such as lost license plates, lost (insurance) tags, erratic drivers being reported well after the fact, etc.”

To report a crime in Sooke, go to ocre-sielc.rcmp.grc.gc.ca/sooke/en.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

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