Police not monitoring app

The Penticton RCMP says it won’t be monitoring LightCatch — a crime-fighting app quickly growing in popularity in the community — any time soon, but encourages the general idea of “neighbourhoods looking after neighbourhoods.”

The free app was first developed in Alberta and can be compared to a modernized Block Watch, allowing users to report suspicious circumstances and upload photos for other nearby users to see. 

“Anything that connects people, we’ve been pushing that, the community connection and neighbourhoods looking after neighbourhoods, anything that does that, I’m a big fan of,” said detachment commander Supt. Ted De Jager. 

“But when it comes time… you need to call us.”

De Jager explained that security concerns prevent them from integrating an app like LightCatch into their systems.

“There is never going to be a connection between a secure RCMP system, which is our dispatch system, and a third party app,” he said, referring to the risk of data breaches. 

De Jager said local police monitor social media when an investigation requires it, but watching Facebook groups, LightCatch, Twitter and other platforms for reports of crime just isn’t feasible. 

“To monitor all the different sites, I would need five members to be able to do that,” he said, adding Penticton officers already have their hands full with day-to-day calls. 

Reporting crime and suspicious incidents or persons to the police, instead of simply posting on social media, also allows for better tracking of crime and deployment of resources, he said.

“Once you see something, don’t try to take the law into your own hands, and call us."

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