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Online crime reporting now available in Sarnia

The Sarnia Police Service has followed through on a recommendation out of the Business Plan public meetings and survey.

The service has launched a new tool for online reporting.

Sarnia Police Chief Derek Davis said it's meant for those crimes and community concerns that are not necessarily immediate emergencies.

"Property damage, minor theft, trespassing, community issues like an ongoing concern in the neighbourhood," said Davis. "It also allows people to do follow-up reports directly. So, if you've learned a new piece of information or you've identified the person you saw on your security camera, you can online file that report."

Davis said with the new tool available making it easier to report an incident, he anticipates they will see an uptick in incidents including mischief calls and thefts.

"So we're actually encouraging people to report when they're the victims of a theft or of a crime, or of a property damage, or a business that's victimized by shoplifting," said Davis. "We want to make those reports easier, so we have a better understanding of what our community is experiencing so we can respond appropriately."

Davis said it allows the very busy road officers to focus on those high priority needs and we no longer have to send an officer to attend every single call.

"If it's an emergency, call 911, these online reports are monitored by officers, but not 24/7," said Davis. "They will get seen within a 24 hour period, an officer physically reviews and reads them and assesses the needs. If it's something that perhaps is not appropriate for online reporting, the officer would escalate it from there and say we need to generate a call, we need to send an officer. So I would emphasize that if it's reported online, we might not get to it immediately, but it's definitely going to be addressed. And if it is an emergency, please call 911."

The online tool is available at www.sarniapolice.ca

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