Po­lice to re­spond to fewer home alarms

Study dis­cov­ered that 97 per cent of re­ported alarms were false

Bayview Post - - News -

Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice (TPS) has im­ple­mented what it calls a “ver­i­fied re­sponse” pro­ce­dure when deal­ing with bur­glar alarm ac­ti­va­tions. A 2016 study by TPS, in con­sul­ta­tion with the Cana­dian Se­cu­rity As­so­ci­a­tion, showed that 97 per cent of alarm ac­ti­va­tions re­ported were false. Given this in­for­ma­tion, TPS has de­cided to move for­ward with a plan that will min­i­mize wast­ing re­sources on these types of calls.

“For bur­glar alarms, the re­quire­ments now are that the mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion must have one of four cri­te­ria be­fore they can con­tact po­lice,” said San­dra Buck­ler, the per­son in charge of strat­egy man­age­ment for the Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice.

The four cri­te­ria in­clude video sur­veil­lance, eye­wit­ness ac­counts, au­dio record­ings and mul­ti­ple-zone ac­ti­va­tions, which en­sure that TPS will have ac­tual ev­i­dence of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity be­fore dis­patch­ing of­fi­cers to the scene. The meth­ods used to col­lect this ev­i­dence de­pend on the type of se­cu­rity de­vices be­ing used.

“If there is no au­dio, video, mul­ti­ple zones or eye­wit­ness in­for­ma­tion or any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or ev­i­dence that will re­quire po­lice to at­tend, then we wouldn't go,” said Buck­ler.

In the case of panic alarms, mean­ing a di­rect ac­ti­va­tion by a per­son of the alarm sys­tem, po­lice will be dis­patched im­me­di­ately to the scene.

“We are com­mit­ted to pub­lic safety and en­sur­ing that we re­duce the amount of false calls we go to,” said Buck­ler. “This will im­prove our ser­vice to those calls that are valid in na­ture.”

As of Sept. 10, these changes have taken ef­fect and are now used by TPS.

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