It’s been just over a year since the Crime Capture Program launched in Sylvan Lake and the local RCMP are hoping more residents will sign up.
The program allows residents to register their security cameras with the RCMP, through the website crimecapture.ca. When signing up, the website asks you to create an account and then you’re able to enter your address and phone number, whether this is a business or home address, and then you can list your interior and exterior cameras, which directions they face and the name of the street and nearest intersection. No other private information is required.
Cameras are put into a mapping system that is only available to the RCMP.
“The idea of the program is for you, as a citizen, to register your camera so I, as a police officer, if a crime occurs, I can look on our map and see cameras in that area that could have captured that crime,” said Sgt. Stephanie Lesyk, with the Sylvan Lake RCMP. “It’s a great program. It engages the community and lets them be our eyes and ears.”
Each RCMP officer has a log in for the mapping system. The Crime Capture Program is a joint operation between the Blackfalds, Rimbey, Rocky Mountain House, Innisfail and Sylvan Lake RCMP detachments, but officers can only access their local area. Sharing the program between several detachments helps to keep the program cost effective.
If a crime occurs, Lesyk said an officer can identify which cameras are worth checking and then call the camera’s owner to verify if anything was, in fact, caught on video. If so, the camera’s owner can send that video in to the RCMP.
“No private information is shared and we cannot access any of your video,” said Lesyk, adding that the map can’t be accessed by the public, either.
“When a crime is committed, a lot of time is spent going out and knocking on doors,” said Lesyk. “Now we can simply look at the program and call you. This helps us get information in a timely manner.”