SURREY — Need to report a crime in Surrey? There will soon be an app for that.
Surrey RCMP is shopping around for a police app that could include crime reporting, crime mapping, tips, news alerts and social media feeds.
City council gave the project the green light during Monday’s public safety committee meeting, though a budget has not been discussed.
“I just want to say how ecstatic I am with what I’m seeing here,” said Coun. Mike Starchuk.
“The community associations that I go and visit that talk about crime in their neighbourhood and it always falls back to, ‘no one reports it.’”
In his report to the committee, Surrey RCMP’s Chief Supt. Bill Fordy said Surreyites have “made it known that they want more access to information on crime and policing activities that affect their communities.”
The new tool, according to the police chief, will provide residents with “a more convenient and timely way to receive information about local crime and public safety issues, crime prevention and Surrey RCMP events and initiatives.”
Fordy hopes the app will result in stronger links to the community, more investigational assistance and an increase in crimes being reported.
Policing apps have been launched in several Canadian cities, including Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, New Westminster and West Vancouver.
Victoria Police Department was the first to launch an app in 2013. Called Mobile VicPD, it utilizes an alert feature through push notifications. If a child goes missing, they can release a photo and it instantly pops up on users’ iPhones and iPads.
The RCMP’s app will be tied into the various other City of Surrey apps, such as Rethink Waste, COSMOS and Surrey Request, all of which are under the umbrella of the MySurrey app, a one-stop-shop app that brings together all the other applications.
It’s expected the Surrey RCMP app will launch in early 2016.
The RCMP will also start communicating through the City of Surrey’s e-newsletters, which launched in September 2014. They will include police updates, monthly event announcements, crime stats and messages from Surrey’s Officer in Charge.