False alarm fines jumping for Kamloops businesses and residents
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February 08, 2017 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Fines for false alarms in Kamloops businesses and residences are set to jump.
Almost all fines related to false alarms are rising because police and administration want to use the fines as a deterrent for repeated false alarms. First time charges aren’t changing, but repeat offenders could see fines up to $1,000, an increase of $700.
Kamloops police spend 800 hours on false alarms, which account for 95 per cent of security alarm calls.
RCMP Insp. Sunny Parmar told council Tuesday, Feb. 7, part of the problem is security companies aren’t verifying alarms.
“The alarm companies are bundling intrusion alarms into panic alarms to force us to go,” he says. “They’re not taking any accountability or ownership of what the alarm actually is.”
Kamloops RCMP respond to 1,200 non-verified calls per year. Local businesses are the common culprit, according to city administration, often with an alarm that isn’t working properly, causing up to 10 false alarms a month per location.
Councillors Denis Walsh and Tina Lange both spoke and voted against the increased fines, arguing it could be potentially devastating to small businesses and with Walsh calling the fines out of line. Mayor Peter Milobar, who voted for the increase, said as a small business owner he’s had one false alarm in seven years.
Safety director David Duckworth says the changes will likely be implemented by the end of the month.
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