More crimes can reported online says Leicestershire's police boss
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire is backing the force’s new drive to report more crimes online.
Lord Willy Bach, 73, said Leicestershire Police’s website would give people better access to officers.
But Lord Bach stressed the public should still ring 999 immediately for all emergencies.
And the former Shadow Attorney General admitted older people may still be more comfortable calling police on the non-urgent 101 number.
Lord Bach told the Harborough Mail: “Leicestershire Police, like a lot of forces in this country, are moving forward into the digital age.
“I can fully understand why they are asking more people to contact them online.
“It makes total sense and opening up this new line of communication may well make it easier for people to get through faster on the 101 line.”
But the former Mayor of Lutterworth added: “Contacting the police online won’t be for everyone.
“It will be second nature for younger people but maybe not for the older members of our society.
“And not everyone will have access to a laptop or a computer.
“So if you are happier calling the police on the 101 number and actually talking to someone then please continue to do that.
“And it goes without saying that if you see a person being attacked or your house is being burgled don’t even think twice – call 999 for urgent help straight away.”
Lord Bach, who lives near Lutterworth, spoke out as Leicestershire Police urged people to report non-emergency crime online.
The force moved to the Single Online Home platform last April – part of a national project to standardise police websites nationwide.
It allows users to interact directly with forces.
The public can also:
- Report details of road traffic collisions
- Report fraud
- Report a lost or stolen vehicle
- Log Anti-Social Behaviour details
- Report details of missing people
- Report lost or found property
- Provide feedback to the force including thanks or dissatisfaction
People can simply go to the force website and click on report and choose the appropriate section.
Users will receive a reference number and will be contacted back by email or text of the next steps within 24 hours.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said: “It is vital the public have confidence in the police and are able to report any non-emergency incidents in as convenient and accessible way as possible.
“Single Online Home allows people to report crimes or incidents that don’t require an immediate police response in their own time and at their own pace.”
She added: “An increasing amount of people prefer to do their business online.
“They expect the police to be able to offer the same type of interaction they get with other service providers.
“It offers people exactly the same provision as calling 101 and can take less time.
“The average 101 call to report a crime or incident takes eight-and-a-half minutes. “Reporting crime online not only gives the public greater choice in how they want to interact with us, it also frees up more of our resources.
“So the message is always call 999 in an emergency - but if it’s not then report your crime online via our website.”