According to 2017 statistics, there were approximately 158,000 parking complaints called in to Toronto police. Spokesperson Meaghan Gray told Global News calls for parking issues represent 10 per cent of the annual amount of calls police receive.
Complaints about abandoned vehicles, accessible parking, driveway obstructions, blocked fire routes, lane obstructions, vehicles exceeding the three-hour limit, private property parking and other issues can be filed on the website.
Gray said the online reporting form is meant to reduce the amount of calls being handled by staff, especially non-emergency issues being handled by 911 call takers.
“We’re hoping that most people will use the online reporting form as it does free up time for our call takers to take other calls for service, both emergency and non-emergency,” she said.
“We’re seeing certainly widespread use of emergency and non-emergency communications and calling in for a number of things … by virtue of everybody having a cellphone, we’re seeing a higher number of calls being made to communications.”
However, for those who don’t want to fill out the form online, or are unable to, complaints can still be reported by calling the Toronto police non-emergency line at 416-808-2222.
Gray said the new system is part of a large ongoing Toronto police modernization initiative. She said police are turning to technology in order to be more efficient. Parking complaints are one of the types of calls officers are trying to reduce from impacting the 911 and non-emergency phone systems.
Global News previously reported on lengthy 911 wait times during major incidents and a staffing shortage inside the 911 communications centre. Earlier this year, Toronto police added dozens of communications operators to its complement in address lengthy wait times.