Online crime reporting has just been launched in Leicestershire.
Police say online reporting for non-emergency crimes “increases the number of ways the public can make contact with the force”.
And Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire Lord Willy Bach has welcomed the move.
Inspector Aimee Ramm, one of the officers who helped to launch online reporting, said: “Many people do a lot of things online now – banking, shopping and booking holidays – and we want to make that shift to offering an online service too.”
Reports will be managed by officers working in the Investigation Management Unit (IMU), and actioned as they come in, the police say.
Detective Inspector Mark Ringrose, who heads up the IMU, said: “As a force we are very phone centred, with almost all crimes we deal with called in to the control room.
“With a digital shift to online, being able to report non-emergency crimes by sending an email is an appealing prospect for some members of the public.”
Online reporting is to be used for non-emergency crimes, the police stress. In any emergency, or for the reporting of a crime in action, people should still dial 999.
PCC Lord Willy Bach welcomed the move, saying: “It’s so important that we give people as many options as possible to contact us.
“Online reporting enables people to provide details of a crime at a time and in a way that is convenient to them. I think many people will find this option useful.
“But, it is just one of a number of ways to contact the police. There are other ways including 101 and, of course, in an emergency 999.
“This is a key part of my plan to ensure greater police visibility and easier accessibility for the public, reducing demand on resources internally while improving service delivery externally. It’s a double win.”