The Importance of Reporting a Crime
February 16, 2023
Crimes, especially property crimes, are often unreported; on average, only 30-40% of property crimes are reported.
You may think the crime is insignificant, but reporting it contributes to the large picture of policing in Alberta. What we don’t see is that when we don’t make a report, it can impact the overall responsiveness in your rural community. As well, it may make it harder for the police to catch offenders without information from the public.
When you make a report, the RCMP takes the information gathered from reported crimes to decide where to send their patrols. They send those resources to where there is the largest number of reported crimes to help combat that rise. So, if you and your neighbours are not reporting crimes, the RCMP may appoint fewer resources to your area.
People often think when they call to report a crime, the officer is coming from a detachment and equating that to the response time. When, in actuality, the officer responding may be on patrol in the area. So, by having fewer patrol units, the response time is higher.
This is where an initiative by the RCMP called Data 2 Action comes into play. Data 2 Action is a program that focuses resources on the province's most vulnerable communities and targets common crimes in those areas based on reports to the police.
Based on the data acquired from reports, including what kind of crimes are committed and where and when they are committed, RCMP can identify hotspots and assign resources to that area.
So, for example, if an area is experiencing a high number of auto theft reports, the RCMP could place bait vehicles with special tracking equipment in strategic locations - based on the data from reports. As well, local RCMP and community groups are notified to be on the lookout.
As a part of the Data 2 Action program, meetings are also regularly held with local and regional partners, including the RCMP, community members and local businesses.
Data 2 Action In Action
With the Data 2 Action program, the RCMP has also made it easier for individuals to report crimes. There have been several changes to how crimes are reported and what is taken into consideration.
- Online app
- Crimes under $5000 are a part of the reporting
- Individuals can make reports after the fact
- For example, if they return home to find their property stolen
The Data 2 Action program has already been active in:
- Central Alberta District:
- Blackfalds, Rocky Mountain House, Morinville, Wetaskiwin
- Eastern Alberta District:
- Vermillion, Lac La Biche, St. Paul, Cold Lake
- Southern Alberta District:
- Sundre, Fort Macleod, Crowsnest Pass/Pincher Creek, Gleichen, Three Hills
- Western Alberta District:
- Valleyview, Beaverlodge, High Prairie, Peace River
As a partner of the RCMP and members of local rural communities, Alberta Rural Crime Watch is also committed to encouraging our neighbours to report crimes. Rural Crime Watch is engaging communities and sharing information so we can all help to prevent crime. Everyone has to play a part in preventing crime.