Police are trying to redirect non-emergency calls to 911
The Waterloo Regional Police are trying hard to free up valuable police time and resource by dealing with the volume of calls received on the 911 service that are either ‘pocket dials’ or non-emergency calls. Anytime someone dials 911 and they are not responding to the operator it ties up the service. Anytime the call is not an emergency it also ties up the service.
In response to the many calls the police have implemented a variety of new measures aimed at making reporting non emergencies easier, and at dealing with pocket dials. These measures include the ability to report many incident types online. They are also responding with test messages to dropped cellular 911 calls (pocket dials). If no one responds to the text then officers follow up in person.
What can I report online?
- Damage to Vehicle (other than by collision and under $5000)
- Lost Property (Under $5000)
- Lost / Stolen Drivers Licence
- Mischief/Damage to Property (Under $5000)
- Theft (Under $5000)
- Theft from an LCBO location (Shoplifting)
- Theft from Vehicle (Under $5000)
- Theft or Loss of Licence Plates
- Fraud Under $25,000/Identity Theft
- Traffic or Driving Complaints - Not in Progress
- Erratic/Dangerous Driving Complaint
- Constant neighbourhood traffic-related issues (speeding)
- School Bus violations
When Should I call Police Instead?:
- If you have a known suspect.
- If you are in possession of any evidence.
- If the value of the theft, loss or property damage is MORE THAN $5,000.
- If the incident occurred outside of Waterloo Region.
- If someone broke into your home or business.
- If this is a motor vehicle collision.
- If this is a theft or loss of a firearm.
- If this is a theft or loss of Government issued Personal Identification documents, other than Driver Licences
- If this is related to any form of personal violence including domestic violence.
- If this is related to any kind of vandalism or graffiti that could be described as hate motivated.
- If this is related to Fraud Over $25,000
- If this is related to a traffic complaint that is in progress.
- If you represent a retail business, other than a LCBO, reporting a theft (shoplifting).
Visit Regional Police Website to learn more about reporting website.
Police say that so far this year they have been able to redirect almost 2100 non-emergency calls and prevent sending frontline officers to respond to the calls. The police hope that the new reporting and response methods will allow them to reach people more easily and more quickly than traditional methods such as going to the home address of individuals.
Other call reducing strategies include increasing online reporting of theft to $5,000 and auto collision reporting at the reporting centres.