False alarm bylaw read

A new false alarm bylaw before municipal council will hold property owners responsible for their alarm systems.

A new false alarm bylaw before municipal council will hold property owners responsible for their alarm systems.

The bylaw, which received first three readings on Monday evening, came because of the number of false alarm calls the RCMP detachment has received.

Sgt. Stephane Lacroix of the Summerland RCMP said the detachment was called to 251 alarm calls in the 15-month period from Jan. 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014.

Of these, 51 were late night calls and only one was an actual break-in.

In three cases, the properties were unsecured and in the remaining 47 cases, the RCMP determined the calls had been false alarms.

In some instances, there have been repeated alarm calls from the same residential or business alarms.

“It’s a substantial problem for us,” Lacroix said, “and it takes a toll on the budget after a while.”

He estimates the cost of responding to the late-night calls is around $10,000 over the 15-month period.

Coun. Orv Robson, a retired RCMP officer, said false alarm calls were rare in the past, but the calls are much more prevalent today as residential and business alarms are more common than in the past.