EXCLUSIVE: Montreal police open doorway to online police reports
The Montreal police force is launching a new service on September 23rd, 2013 that will give citizens the ability to file police reports through their website.
“It’s an option for the citizens, so they can report a theft or something that has been lost without going to a neighbourhood police station or calling 9-1-1,” said Inspector Simonetta Barth with Montreal police.
She said citizens will be more inclined to let cops know about minor crimes, which would have otherwise gone unreported.
“If we have just one event that is reported because everyone else couldn’t bother, we’re not going to bother because it’s not going to show up on our map,” Barth said.
Police hope this will help them identify criminal patterns, which could lead to more arrests.
She said it’s also about making the force more efficient.
“I know from experience working in a neighbourhood police station, that at certain times during the week, there are times you have 10, 15, even more people waiting to be serviced by one person,” she said. “We had to pull [officers] off the road to come and help that desk officer.”
“We are better using our resources where we know there is a problem,” she said.
The system does not replace 9-1-1, however the force does have a team reading the incoming reports regularly.
“Let’s say [someone] reported a theft in their car, and they don’t have a serial number,” Barth explained. “Police will be able to reply by email asking for further information. Once we get all the information and it’s validated, it gets pushed through and treated like everything else.
The new platform, available through www.spvm.qc.ca, will be smart phone and tablet (iPad) friendly.
The force also plans to hold information sessions, where the general public can walk through the process.
- Monday, September 25: Complexe Desjardins
- Thursday, September 26: Fairview Pointe-Claire
- Friday, September 27: Rockland Centre
- Saturday, September 28: Galerie d’Anjou
The homepage of the site lists the conditions when you can and can’t report an online report, as well as a warning that submitting a false report is considered a crime, and you can be prosecuted.