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Reporting a Crime Tips

The Edmonton Police Service encourages citizens and visitors to our city to report all crimes that occur in Edmonton.

It's worth reporting.

Why should you report a crime?

It's simple: the Edmonton Police Service cannot address crimes or hotspots if we are not notified of the crimes.

Typically, when a crime occurs and is left unreported, the frequency and severity of occurrences will increase if they are not dealt with. This makes the importance of reporting crime and disorder, regardless of severity, absolutely vital for the EPS and your community.

What does the EPS do to help target crime in your community?

There are numerous resources within the EPS that, on a daily basis, monitor crime and disorder, analyze it for patterns and send the information to front-line members so they can visit areas targeted by offenders. From this, target areas are identified, and, on numerous occasions, the individuals responsible are also identified. The final result, although not always seen, is an arrest for the original crime reported, or for other occurrences.

You can see these maps here.

Furthermore, each day, analysts put together a map of their respective division that records and illustrates every crime that occurs within that division. On a weekly basis, the Community Liaison Constables, Community Sergeants, Beat Sergeants, as well as divisional management, meet, review, and discuss crime patterns and emerging hotspots. From these meetings strategies are developed, discussed and utilized by the members of each division.

Proactive patrols, beat patrols, and proactive policing events are responses to the emerging crime and disorder patterns documented. In many cases, when a police car or a police officer is noted in your neighbourhood, they are visiting a target area.

The key is the initial reporting of an incident. Reporting an incident can take as little as 15 minutes. Reports can be made in a number of ways:

  1. Attending a community or divisional station
  2. Calling the police dispatch line at 780-423-4567
  3. Online

How to Be a Good Witness

EPS members are often asked what information we need when a crime is reported. Members rely on reported information as a starting point for any investigation, so accuracy is important. If you are a witness, write down what you saw, heard, or even smelled; your memory is most accurate moments after an occurrence. If a person or vehicle is leaving an area, their direction of travel is vital.

Please approach police once a situation is safe - the information you provide might be the "missing piece" in solving the problem. If you do not know the answer to a question, let the investigator know. "I don’t know" is better than guessing.

Tips when calling to report an occurrence:

Describing people:

  • Basic description: height, weight, and build.
  • Clothing description: writing, distinct patterns or colours. Colour and style of shoes.
  • Physical description: distinct marks, scars, or tattoos. Permanent markings help with identification. If possible, hair colour, length and style; eye colour.
  • Interaction: Try to recall exactly what was said and how it was said.

Describing vehicles:

  • Make, model, and colour.
  • License plate (if possible; a partial is OK too).
  • Identifiable markings or damage (stickers, rusting, and tint).
  • Number of visible occupants.
  • If impaired: a driving pattern (i.e.: weaving in lanes, speeds, etc).
  • Direction of travel.

Describing residences or locations:

  • Entrances and lane ways.
  • If you're reporting a break and enter: entrance used to gain access or exit; other entrances and how entrance(s) are approached.
  • Is there movement in the location? Are there any lights on? Can you see the individual(s) and what are they doing?