The police encourages you to report all crimes. And now it’s easier than ever that you can actually report crimes online.
The man leaving Winnipeg Police Headquarters in early August had a huge grin on his face, a box of power tools and an air compressor in his arms. He was back in business.
We were able to match him up with his tools after they disappeared from his vehicle earlier this summer.
It happens more often than you would think – but it was only possible because he took the time to report the theft online and provided proof the items were his. You’d be surprised how often stories end differently.
Oodles of stolen gear are recovered in Winnipeg each year. Criminals are busted with stolen goods in their possession and honest citizens find items that are turned in to police so the items can be returned to their rightful owner(s).
Yet, too many people NEVER report these crimes to us.
We want and need to know about them. Reporting them needn’t be onerous.
Online reporting is the easiest means of reporting these types of crimes, and its growing in popularity. It can be done from the comfort of your home through our website (Winnipeg.ca/police). It saves you a trip to a station, or waiting for a report car to become available to arrive at your home.
Online reporting is your fastest means of making a report for:
• break & enters;
• damage/mischief to property or a vehicle;
• lost property; and
You can even report traffic complaints.
Online Reports cannot be accepted if the incident involves:
• theft, loss or property damage exceeding $5,000;
• personal violence such as; assault, robbery, domestic violence;
• a motor vehicle collision;
• theft (or loss) of firearm or medication;
• theft of vehicle, license plate or utility trailer; or
• hate motivated vandalism or graffiti.
Reporting Is Important
We often say crime prevention starts with you. Taking the time to file a report is an excellent example of how this works.
Our Crime Analysts pour through these reports to finds links in methods, dates, times and locations. Last year, 23,312 reports were handled in this fashion.
This helps ensure the officers patrolling your streets are aware of what is happening and when. Strategic projects can be developed, and resources deployed – where and when needed.
When we know what is missing, having this information makes it more likely we can get the items back to their rightful owners.
The man we mentioned earlier did the right thing and filed that police report online, the stolen items were recovered. We were able to connect him to the items and return them to him.
He had photos of the items in question to help prove they were his. He also can now speak to the value of recording serial numbers. As much as we want to return item, we need to know they’re going to the right home.
There are prompts in the online report asking you for this key information.
As many items as we’ve been able to return there are way too many we cannot match up to an owner. Sometimes there’s no serial numbers recorded, pictures taken or distinguishing marks to help identify them. (Anyone else remember when people used to use a scratch all to mark items for ID? It’s an old idea that is still a wise one.)
You know how many items have never been returned because no one bothered to report the crime? One hundred per cent of them.
It starts with you.
Record those serial numbers, file those pictures and make those reports.
We will never solve a crime we don’t know about!
Patrol Sgt. Phil Penner and Constable Garnie McIntyre are members of Crime Prevention Section, Winnipeg Police Service.