False alarms chew up Vernon RCMP time

Insp. Gord Stewart estimates 90 per cent of alarm calls are false alarms

False alarms, abandoned 911 calls and traffic complaints occupy significant RCMP time, police said.

Insp. Gord Stewart, acting officer in charge of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, told City of Vernon council that their detachment received 1,244 alarm calls last year, many of which turned out to be false alarms.

“I would say in my experience, and again it’s anecdotal, but the vast majority of them, north of 90-95 per cent, would be false,” Stewart told council during his quarterly report at the May 14 meeting.

“I find it odd that an alarm company can use us as their runners, but they do that, and we respond.”

According to Stewart, the first false alarm call is free. Afterwards, it becomes accumulative in terms of potential fines.

“It seems there is a lot of time spent on them (false alarm calls),” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

In addition to the false alarm calls, Stewart said the RCMP spends a lot of time following up on abandoned 911 calls, which the detachment received nearly 2,000 of in 2017.

“We are legislated and have a policy which is very strict in terms of following up on 911 calls,” Stewart said. “In other jurisdictions, there have been some that have unfortunately led to tragedies, and that’s placed an onus on us to be very scrupulous in ensuring that nobody is at risk.”

Topping the Top 20 Calls for Service list with 2,731 reports, however, are traffic complaints.

“That can range, everything from a very specific complaint of a specific vehicle with a plate driving in a dangerous manner to, ‘I saw a grey car pass me dangerously a week ago,’” Stewart said.

“It does occupy quite a bit of our time.”

Offences increase

For the first quarter of 2018, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP saw a 10 per cent increase in criminal code offences and a six per cent in property crimes over that time last year.

Of the top 20 calls for service in terms of volume received in 2017, only threats would be considered a crime against persons, Stewart said. The RCMP does receive reports of other crimes against persons on an ongoing basis but not to the level of the other top 20 types.

“I think that’s a reflection of what consumes a lot of our time. Not to say that those particular crimes against persons don’t occupy a lot of our time, because they tend to be the files that we put the most work into,” Stewart said.

Road check stops also increased by 5.56 per cent while alcohol-related enforcement decreased by 14.7 per cent.

Vernon itself saw an increase of 5.7 per cent in calls for service, up to 4,489 from 4,427.

“Our detachment remains committed to our strategic priorities of crime reduction, communication and road safety,” Stewart said.

Related: Volunteers needed for RCMP program


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Bail decision not yet reached for Vernon murder suspect

Paramjit Singh Bogarh will appear in Vernon Law Courts at 9 a.m. June 29 for bail decision

Cyclists touring B.C. to highlight Ukraine struggle

A group of Ukrainian cyclists are travelling 100,000 kilometres to raise awareness for Ukraine war.

One trapped, one thrown from truck in Enderby crash

UPDATE: Two occupants in truck rollover out Enderby-Mabel Lake Road Monday

UPDATE: Suspect sought in car theft

Stolen vehicle flees scene in Ashton Creek, found behind Polson Park in Vernon

Falkland artist favours, fights for fish

Lottie Kozak does all kinds of art; one of her favourite subjects, fish, is dwindling

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Legends stoked for playdowns

Bantam B lacrosse at Nor-Val Sports Centre

Most Read