St. Albert residents no longer need to visit the local RCMP detachment in person to fill out criminal record checks. RCMP K-Division in Edmonton has launched a pilot program in 11 cities and towns across Alberta where individuals can access their private information online.
“It’s a complementary service provided by municipalities in addition to in-person checks. Last summer we shifted to property crimes reporting online. This year it’s providing criminal record checks. People feel more at ease in their home. And it’s more convenient for people to apply in the comfort of their own homes,” said Cpl. Deanna Fontaine, K-Division media relations.
The six-month pilot project was launched Wednesday, Sept. 22 and will run until March 2022. In addition to St. Albert, it currently operates in Bashaw, Cochrane, Consort, Drayton Valley, Drumheller, Grande Prairie, Provost, St. Paul, Sundre, and Sylvan Lake.
Fontaine said the project was under consideration prior to the pandemic.
“We’re always looking to improve service. It’s a simpler, more efficient way to provide service,” she said.
In a media release, Alberta RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki also noted that, “Having contact-less service is also ideal in a time when physical distancing may be preferred.”
A criminal record check may be required for a variety of reasons. Many organizations require people to obtain criminal record checks or vulnerable sector checks for various reasons. Several include employment, volunteer work, adoption, caring for the vulnerable, immigration, foreign travel, or a name change. To maintain complete privacy, individuals are only permitted to apply for their own information.
The application is completed online through a series of prompts. It is administered by Forrest Green Solutions, a third-party company that manages the collection of information and will verify the identity of applicants in its search, Fontaine said.
To ensure privacy, applicants must provide copies of government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s licence, birth certificate, or passport. There is no charge for a volunteer check, however, fees for other categories range from $31 to $56.
When asked if this project was a cost-saving measure, Fontaine replied, “We will evaluate it over time. We have to be responsible in how we deploy our resources. The biggest shift is streamlining and modernizing and making it less difficult for people to use.”
To apply visit https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ab/online-criminal-record-checks-verifications-de-casier-judiciaire-en-ligne/index-eng.htm