Edmonton police deal with 10,000 more calls for service this year

Edmonton police shut down a busy intersection as they investigated a suspicious package, Thursday, May 28, 2015. File/Global News

Edmonton – Edmonton Police revealed Friday afternoon they have received 10,000 more calls for service compared to this time last year.

These are calls that have been answered, evaluated, and a police officer has been sent to investigate. This is a significant increase in dispatched calls related to serious incidents and violent crimes.

Police have dispatched 134,526 calls for service as of Oct. 22, compared to 124,204 calls in 2014.  That’s an increase of 8.3 per cent.

“We understand the public’s frustration when they have to wait for police response to non-emergency crimes,” says Insp. Graham Hogg with 911 Police Communications Branch.

“We appreciate these citizens may have been impacted by crime. The EPS is doing its best to respond to all calls for service within the finite resources we have. This significant increase provides some insight into the challenges officers respond to on a daily basis,” adds Hogg.

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The Edmonton Police Service is using a number of tactics to help deal with the situation:

  • Complainants for non-emergency calls are contacted or called back with an update of the status of their call;
  • All calls are continuously monitored, evaluated and dispatched appropriately;
  • Introduced Northwest Division, and geographic boundaries were realigned to evenly distribute call volumes;
  • Report a Crime Online implemented;
  • Prepared for the Collision Reporting Centre at Gateway Park.

Two of the most common crimes reported are theft from a vehicle and theft of a vehicle.

Officers are urging the public to take these crime prevention measures:

  • Do not leave your vehicle running;
  • Do not leave a spare key hidden in the vehicle;
  • Lock your vehicle;
  • Use a steering wheel locking device (e.g. The Club);
  • Remove all valuables from your vehicle;
  • Install a car alarm.

If you do witness a crime, suspicious activity, are in need of emergency services, police are encouraging the public to call 911.

“Every tip a citizen reports to the police is helpful,” says Hogg.

You can also report non-emergency complaints by calling 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone.

Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.