Kelowna RCMP implementing video surveillance program to help fight crime | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna RCMP implementing video surveillance program to help fight crime

October 22, 2019 - 2:15 PM

Kelowna RCMP want easier access to all the private security video and CCTV camera footage out there in its crime-fighting effort.

One of two new surveillance initiatives outlined by Kelowna RCMP detachment commander Supt. Brent Mundle to city council yesterday, Jan. 21, is the new Camera Registry Program.

“What we’re seeing is that numerous businesses, as well as residential properties, now have video or CCTV coverage around their locations,” Mundle told council.

“Our crime prevention unit is putting together a program where individuals, who are willing, may register the location of cameras and systems they have in place so, when we’re investigating a crime in a particular area, we can take a look at the registry and determine what locations we may need to check to determine if they have any related video evidence,” he said.

Video footage has already proved useful in fighting crime, Mundle said, and the registry will just give police a more efficient way of accessing it.

The other surveillance tool is called a Black Cat Radar Monitor. It’s a type of camera that can be installed for a week at a time to monitor traffic speeds in both directions covering up to four lanes of traffic.

“We regularly get calls with respect to traffic issues involving speeding and such in various neighbourhoods,” Mundle said. “It (Black Cat) helps us determine how big or significant an issue is. We’ve recently deployed it as a result of complaints. We’ve learned the issue may not be as important as reported. On other occasions, it certainly confirmed what’s been reported to us.”

It also shows police the best times to put officers on the ground to enforce the speed limits.

Here are some of the other highlights from Supt. Mundle's report to city council yesterday:

  • The Inadmissible Patron Program where 350 visits were made to bars and restaurants to look for people with “significant criminal records or who may be a risk to public safety.” There were 61 people removed and 23 arrested.
  • A Patrol Cart – like a golf cart – was used for downtown and on beaches. It allowed officers to quietly sneak up and arrest someone who was damaging parking meters.
  • The Bait Bike Program – a bike with a GPS tracking system - was tracked to one home where it and two other stolen bicycles were recovered. Another person was arrested the same day after grabbing a bait bike. Another investigation recovered five stolen bicycles but more people need to register their bikes on the Bike 529 program so it’s easier to identify them as stolen.
  • A new on-line crime reporting option was introduced in June and, by late September, had recorded 136 incidents. Often these are crimes that have gone unreported in the past – such as small thefts, mischief and property crime where there’s no offenders or witnesses.
  • There were more than 200 thefts from autos each month. Many of those are “crimes of opportunity” where people leave their vehicles unlocked and/or leave valuables in plain sight. A “design jam” is being held this week to try to find solutions.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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