The RCMP are in the consultation phase, and are looking for input from home and business owners on a strategy to reduce the number of alarm calls officers respond to annually. In 2009 and 2010, Nova Scotia RCMP spent more than 12,000 hours responding to false alarm calls each year.
RCMP Cpl. David Lilly, Project Manager for the initiative says, “Our goal is to reduce the number of alarm calls because the statistics show a significant amount of time is spent responding to alarms when no crime has been committed.”
He adds, “We want to maximize police resources so we can focus on crime reduction strategies through prevention, and enforcement that targets hot spots/high crime areas throughout the province.”
The proposed strategy being considered would see RCMP move to a‘verified response’ model for single-zone alarm incidents. A verified response means that there is some form of verification that there has been an unwanted intrusion. The simple audible or single-zone alarm incidents will need to be verified by an alarm company or an eye witness (contact person) before the police will attend.
From February 22nd to March 15th, the RCMP are requesting home and business owners provide feedback on the strategy via an online form on the Nova Scotia RCMP web site. Visit www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca. A Frequently Asked Questions page can also be found on the site about the proposed changes to alarm response.
“Public Safety, including responding to alarms where crimes are in progress, remains a priority for the RCMP,” says Lilly. “However most citizens are not aware of the significant impact that false alarms have on police resources across Nova Scotia.”
RCMP will continue to be dispatched to multi-zone alarms such as glass breaks, hold-up alarms, panic alarms, and medical alarms etc.