False Alarm Reduction Program | Belleville Police Service
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False Alarm Reduction Program


The overall goal of the False Alarm Reduction Program is to reduce the false alarm incident workload through cooperation with the alarm industry and the public while ensuring that police resources are effectively deployed.


What is a False Alarm?

Under City of Belleville Bylaw 2006-34 (PDF), a "false alarm" is defined as:

"any alarm the activation of which results in police attending the premises at which the alarm is located, where there has not been any unauthorized into the premises and includes the activation of the alarm by testing, malfunction or by accident."

A "response" is defined as "the attendance by the Belleville police Service to a false alarm.?
 

Why a False Alarm Reduction Program?

With the continuing growth of the use of security alarm systems in homes and businesses, police services in many jurisdictions are faced with the challenge of attending to false alarm incidents in huge numbers. Many jurisdictions in Canada have implemented False Alarm Reduction Programs to reduce the number of false alarm calls their police members are being dispatched to, and to reduce the financial costs associated with attending false alarms.

The Program is designed to reduce one of the most significant misuses of police resources and free up officers for legitimate calls for service. Out of the alarm calls received, only a very small percentage are the result of a criminal offence; the other percentage are false due to a number of factors, including user error or malfunction of the alarm system.

 

Full operation of this program in Belleville began in 2005.

In 2004, the last year prior to the implementation of the False Alarm Reduction Bylaw the Belleville Police Service was dispatched to 2050 security system calls for service.

The vast majority of these calls for service, 2037 of them, were reported as false alarms, resulting in thousands of dollars of wasted police resources expended annually.

With the implementation of the False Alarm Reduction Program in July 2005, we experienced our first drop in alarm calls for service that year. This initial success has continued. In 2006, the Belleville Police Service attended 1829 false alarm calls for service and 2009 the Belleville Police Service attended 1480 false alarm calls for service.

This success is no doubt a result of the continuing efforts from the public and the security alarm industry professionals.


Excessive False Alarm Fee

Under the City of Belleville Bylaw 2006-34, an excessive false alarm fee is payable by the owner of any premises after the second and all subsequent false alarms from those premises during any calendar year.

False Alarm

Excessive False Alarm Fee

Second

$50

Third

$100

Fourth and over

$200

The exception to the Bylaw would be;

  • Instances where the alarm was caused by an illegal entry or any attempt at illegal entry to the premise
  • Alarm caused by severe weather or major electrical disruption

What should you do if you have a False Alarm?

  • You need to determine WHY the false alarm occurred.
  • If it is a USER error, make sure that all users are properly trained on how to properly operate the system. This will include all third party users such as cleaners, subcontractors, etc. Contact your alarm company if you need further training on the system.
  • You should contact your alarm company after every false alarm whether the police have attended or not. Your alarm company should be able to supply you with detailed information about the alarm.
  • Find out: how many zones were activated and what zones those were
  • Which key-holders were contacted and make sure they are up to date
  • What verification procedures were used by the monitoring station?

This information should help you and your alarm company in determining what action should be taken to prevent further false alarms.