Yellowknife RCMP’s detachment commander Insp. Alex Laporte says the police agency is working on preventing false fire alarms.
From January to the end of November 2018, the Yellowknife Fire Division responded to 210 false fire alarms, 50 more than the year prior. Laporte says police are in talks with the city about the issue.
“We’re working with the city as well and we’re going to move into consultations with property owners to actually look at the issue and see where we, as a police agency, can fit in preventing these crimes.”
Laporte says evidence such as eyewitnesses, CCTV footage and the person admitting guilt are needed to bring any charge forward to court.
“There are different aspects of police investigations that will lead police to lay information before the courts. But they are challenging investigations because usually the person who has created the alarm has left the scene.”
One such charge was laid in January against a 29-year-old woman, the first in relation to false fire alarms. The charge is now before the courts.
Preventing these alarms also requires education, Laporte says, about the serious nature of this crime.
“It’s not a game, it’s not fun. Every time a false alarm is pulled it creates an emergency response and those resources can’t be assigned to other priorities in the meantime.”
Laporte shared information about the arrest to Yellowknife city council Monday during a review of monthly statistics.