Skip to: Site menu | Main content

Beach Triangle Residents Association

Neighbourhood News and Information

The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

Advertise in the BTRA Newsletter

Community Policing: Crime Reporting

By Chris Blythe
 Share on Facebook

You may have noticed more uniformed officers on the street. An enhanced police services strategy in 55 Division now encourages neighbourhood patrol officers to leave the cars more often and interact with the community. What's more, input from patrol officers is now playing a greater role in enforcement strategy, based upon their first-person experiences within neighbourhoods. Don't be shy. Say 'hi.' Get to know the patrol officers! And discuss policing kudos and concerns first-hand. 55 has great cops! And many of them live here.

Speaking of talking to police: Reporting crime by telephone may sometimes seem futile or overly complex and time consuming. You may even get the idea nothing is being done because no one comes to take a report or investigate, CSI style.

Rest assured, there is a great interest in capturing as much local crime data as possible, especially at the division level. Fresh, accurate information is probably the best single tool in crime analysis. It can greatly help reduce crime, improve enforcement and allocate resources. But not all reports require personal service.

Here's the rub: the police 'Radio Room' - where most calls to the general police reporting number (416-808-2222) go - is tuned to serious occurrences. (They handle most police-related 911 calls too.) It's a big city rapid response centre. This, in my opinion, makes those answering the phone less focused on 'minor' reports about graffiti, property damage, bullying, and suspicious events. But this is of necessity. The radio room's main focus is quick, effective, reaction to serious events; not necessarily the capture of trend data and a chat. It's not that you are not being heard or that the data isn't being added to various databases, but you may well come away feeling hurried and questioning the value of your call.

Rest assured, the information is appreciated. But the radio room requires quick, efficient, communication to be able to provide quick and efficient response where needed. And resources are limited. Still, it is helpful to report even minor incidents; ones you may think will fall under the radar and do not require a full investigation. So try a rethink:

In emergencies, call 911. But in a less-serious instance you may find that a call to your local police division would be more effective and fulfilling. In The Triangle, that's 55 Division (416-808-5500). You may not be blessed with front-door investigation, but the captured data will help officers determine trends and identify problem areas as they arise. And it's more likely that local patrol officers will be made aware while the information is still fresh.

So for graffiti, minor theft, suspicious behaviour and other, less-serious, matters; or just to say thanks or ask about policing in the community; consider calling 55 Division directly.