If your house gets broken into and the burglar alarm goes off, you expect the police, paramedics or fire department to arrive as soon as they can.
Now, that may not be the case in Toronto. Recently, the police have stated that they are not going to be responding to burglar alarms unless someone can prove that an incident actually took place.
The police say they have good reason to do so, though.
According to a press release sent out by the Toronto Police Service, many of the burglar alarm incidents that they respond to each year are entirely false.
“97% of alarm activations reported were false and that alarm activation is not necessarily an indicator of criminal activity,” the press release states.
Police say there a number of different ways for people to verify to the police that someone has actually broken into their home.
Those that are trying to prove that a burglary took place in their home can do so with audio, video, or multiple zone activations on the burglary system. Alternatively, they can an eyewitness account, possibly from a private security guard or a person at the scene.
But, not all types of alarms will be affected by the new policy - panic, hold-up or duress alarms will not be affected by the change, according to police.
Some people calling 911 have had to wait for quite some time for police to arrive. It is hoped that, by avoiding responding to the majority of burglar alarms, police will be able to respond faster to crime in the city.
Police across Canada have been accused of even putting people on hold because of a lack of resources.
So, if you're living in Toronto and have a burglar alarm, make sure you have a way to verify that the burglary actually happened.
Source: Toronto Police Services