The RCMP’s Real Time Intelligence Centre in Surrey. (Submitted)

Victoria police seek funding for real-time intelligence unit

Format and administration uncertain, but centre would service South Island police agencies

Victoria police are seeking nearly $144,000 to collect intelligence data with the RCMP on the South Island.

VicPD currently uses information from the RCMP’s Real Time Intelligence Centre (RTIC) in Surrey, which is being provided on a trial basis this year to track serious crimes including shots fired, murders, armed robberies, sexual assaults, AMBER alerts, active shooters, high-risk missing persons, home invasions, hostage situations, terrorism, gang violence and other urgent events.

According to the budget report presented to council last week by VicPD Chief Const. Del Manak, area chiefs agree there is a need for the service, although it’s uncertain what form that would take. A local RTIC would be created either in conjunction with RCMP or with local police agencies, potentially as an independent unit or centre based on the South Island. The RCMP intends to roll out service to the Island in 2018.

In his presentation, Manak said being able to deliver real-time intelligence to front-line officers is invaluable in the early stages of serious investigations.

“It’s usually for the more serious incidents, robberies, sexual assaults, homicides and shootings, but the benefits are significant,” he said.

“Having the capacity to have the intelligence in the early stages can significantly prevent loss of life, especially in incidents [such as those] that occurred recently in Edmonton or in Las Vegas.”

Surrey’s RTIC provides intelligence to multiple police jurisdictions using 20 different law enforcement databases to search for information, help identify and locate suspects quickly and monitor serious crimes. The centre is connected with Canadian border enforcement, corrections, sheriffs and BC Transit Police.

According to VicPD, similar intelligence centres in the U.S. saw a 30-per-cent reduction in serious crime and a 20-per-cent drop in violent crimes.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

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