If you see it, report it. That’s the message the Timmins Police service are sending to the residents of Timmins. At their latest board meeting, The Timmins Police discussed the issue of people posting potential crimes like theft or vandalism on social media, but never reporting it to the police.

The Chief of Police, John Gauthier, says he understands the benefits of getting information about a crime out there, but the call to police should be the first step. “With technology advances being what they are,” he says, “it just allows for that message to get out quicker. But certainly the first call should be made to the Police Service, if you want to report it.”

Calling the police doesn’t just alert them of a potential crime, it also helps with statistical information of crimes in Timmins, and of areas to monitor more closely in town.

Coupled with the issue of potential crimes going online before the police know about them, is the issue that social media posts can inspire residents to take action into their own hands. When it comes to a possible crime in the city, Chief Gauthier sympathizes with residents but ultimately encourages them not to take matters into their own hands.

“People are frustrated that they’re getting their items stolen from their yards, and I get it,” he says. “Allow the police to do their work, don’t take the law into your own hands. And certainly we would be more than happy to help.”

Any residents who see suspicious activity in their neighborhood or anywhere in town, should call the Timmins Police Service or, if they wish to remain anonymous, they can call crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.