The RCMP would like to remind all residents in the Southeast District that 9-1-1 emergency calls cannot be received via a text message.
The equipment is not available to receive text messages at the 9-1-1 Centre located in Kelowna.
Currently there is an increasing number of ways to communicate, with text, email and social media becoming more widely used. Although these options are great for interpersonal communication, or commenting on the RCMP’s Facebook page, the RCMP is unable to accept reports of crime or other emergencies through text-based formats.
Recognizing the many new ways to communicate, police are warning the public against using text messages for emergencies. Wherever you are in North America, if you dial 9-1-1 the telephone system is going to direct your call to the closest 9-1-1 centre to you. There is not a universal text number for 9-1-1 so if you are to text it, it is not going to go anywhere.
There is also no way for the caller to verify whether or not their text message has been received at a 9-1-1 centre and it is dangerous to assume that help is on the way when no voice contact has been made with an operator to confirm this.
9-1-1 and the RCMP communications operators must be able to fully understand the urgency of the public’s need, and obtain full and accurate details of events and complaints, neither of which can be done through text-based communication.
You can provide anonymous and secure tips by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.southokanagancrimestoppers.ca.