Fredericton Police now spending most time, resources fielding questions from public about online reporting tool

Fredericton Police now spending most time, resources fielding questions from public about online reporting tool

Fredericton — The capital city’s police force recently implemented what they’d hoped would be a convenient online tool with which residents can quickly report 5 types of crime. Unfortunately the police failed to foresee the utter confusion this would cause the vast number of New Brunswick residents who can neither read nor count to 5.

According to the website, people can now report the following crimes using the online tool:

  • Theft of bicycle (less than $5,000 CDN)
  • Theft (less than $5,000 CDN) not including vehicles or licence plates
  • Damage/mischief to property (less than $5,000 CDN)
  • Theft from vehicle (less than $5,000 CDN)
  • Damage/mischief to vehicle (less than $5,000 CDN, and not including vehicle-to-vehicle damage, e.g. hit & run)

When the police posted about the tool on Facebook, all hell broke loose.

“Wait, so I can’t report crime outside of Fredericton? How is that fair??” commented Sheryl Hines. Police responded saying that the incident must have occurred within city limits. Hines continued to reply over and over, asking the same question in different ways. “So let me get this straight — what if I see something happen in like, Oromocto or Minto or Rusagonis something? Can I use the tool?”

Dozens of other online commenters were baffled simply by the number 5.

“How come we can’t report 6 types of crime? Seems like the police aren’t doing their job,” wrote Marty McLellan.

“Yeah, what kind of police force only lets you notify them of 5 kinds of crime?? What if something else happens that isn’t in the list? What then?” added Karen Delotte. The police’s Facebook page replied saying that, for now, only the 5 crimes listed can be reported online, while the others can be reported by more traditional methods.

“What if I don’t have a phone??” demanded another commenter. “What if I can’t leave my house and can’t afford my phone bill but can afford my Internet bill, but I see something happen that’s not on that list?”

The comments quickly degraded further, with perplexed Facebook users demanding answers on what they should do if they’re being scammed on Kijiji, what happens if they see a distracted driver, and even what they should do in the event of unspecified “other things.”

“It’s quite disappointing,” said Const. Marjorie McKay. “In trying to streamline the reporting process we seem to have thrown a massive wrench into it. The phone has been ringing off the hook with people giving us ‘suggestions’ as to how they think we could improve the online tool. We’ve even had people calling asking us to troubleshoot their computer issues so they can report crimes more easily. It’s like this whole city needs a goddamned babysitter.

“One guy was just like, ‘Why don’t you have this tool for the RCMP?'” she went on. “Literally anything we say or do opens the floodgates for complaints and illiterate morons airing their grievances.”

Police are asking Fredericton residents to re-read the list of 5, memorize it, and think twice before calling the station. “If the infraction you witnessed is on the list, you can report it online. It’s that simple. Jesus H.”

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