Victoria police urge patience as non-emergency callers face over 50-hour waits

Victoria police say they will get to every call in the queue. File / Global News

Victoria police want to assure everyone in their community that they will respond to all calls they receive but say they are dealing with a large volume at the moment.

Police said Friday afternoon there are about 60 calls in their non-emergency queue, with some waiting more than 50 and 60 hours for an officer to respond.

Const. Cameron MacIntyre with the Victoria Police Department said it is not an uncommon occurrence for that amount of calls to be on hold but with the heat wave and two separate protests going on, some calls are taking longer.

Read more: Man arrested in Victoria for hate-motivated assault on woman, children

“We see that as a customer service issue and it’s something that we want the public to know when they are wondering why the police haven’t shown up for that fraud or theft, or what we would consider a lower-priority call, as we are spending the bulk of our time responding to Priority 1 and Priority 2 calls,” MacIntyre said.

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In 2019, the Victoria Police Department had the highest caseload per officer of any municipal police department in B.C., he added.

The numbers for 2020 have not yet been released but he expects them to be similar to the previous year.

Read more: Edmonton, Calgary experiencing strain on emergency services in part due to heat wave: AHS

“That can be a challenge when we’re trying to provide the best customer service possible and we’re responding to our community members several days after they have reported a crime,” MacIntyre added.

These calls in the queue do not affect 911 calls in any way, MacIntyre clarified but added if it is a situation that can wait, they ask people to call the non-emergency line.

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