40 per cent of callers to Vancouver police non-emergency line simply gave up, report shows

18,680 of the 46,154 calls made to E-Comm acting on behalf of the VPD were abandoned by callers in the first three months of this year

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Over 18,000 non-emergency calls to the Vancouver Police Department were abandoned by callers in first three months of 2022, a report has revealed.

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The shocking statistic is buried in the Q1 Public Safety Indicators Report from Drazen Manojlovic, director of the Vancouver Police Department’s planning, research and audit section, being presented to the Vancouver Police Board on Thursday. This is the first time the board has met since Feb. 24.

On page 16 of the 20 page document, under Calls For Service, the report compares calls made to the non-emergency line in the first three months of 2022 to the first three months of 2021. 

It states that 40.5 per cent (18,680) of the 46,154 calls made in 2022 were abandoned by the caller, compared to 24.7 per cent (13,258) the year before.

The report does not state why the calls were dropped by the public, but usually this occurs when the wait is too long.

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The non-emergency line is recommended for cases where immediate response is not needed, and is used instead of dialling 911.

“Concern has recently come to light about the under-reporting of crime and one area to examine this is the number of times a person calls the non-emergency line managed by E-COMM and how often that call is answered versus the caller abandoning the call,” the report states.

The report also shows a big drop in cyber-related crimes (that would be reported using the non-emergency line) falling from 856 in the first three months of 2021 to 439 for the first three months of 2022.

The number of assaults and sexual assaults and fraud cases reported also dropped.

E-Comm is contracted by the VPD and many other emergency agencies to provide 911 and non-emergency call services in B.C.

E-Comm employs 260 call takers and dispatchers at it’s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island Centres.

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