A new system to allow residents to report crimes on-line was launched this week by Lincolnshire Police.
The new online reporting software is designed to take people through an easy step-by-step process to log the incident and will give each user a unique reference number.
People will be asked to leave a phone number or an email address and each incident filed will be followed up with contact from an officer.
The system is to be used for reporting non-emergency incidents. It will not replace the existing 101 number, which will remain in use. Although the on-line system has now gone live other forces who have launched similar services have found that around one in ten people switch from reporting their crime by phone to the new online alternative.
At the moment Lincolnshire’s force control room receive more than 14,000 calls per month – with around 20 per cent being 999 calls.
The project is a joint initiative by Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones and a project team at Lincolnshire Police.
The launch comes days after the release after the PCC’s Community Safety, Policing and Criminal Justice Plan.
One of the pledges made by Mr Jones in the plan was to “continue to transform Lincolnshire Police into a modern and innovative force” that can “tackle the changing nature of crime and respond to differing community needs”.
Mr Jones said: “This is a really exciting initiative and the project team have done a great job developing this new concept.
“I believe this is the first step in a long journey to modernize and innovate so we have a force capable of utilizing technology to engage with residents, forge partnerships with communities, fight crime and support victims.”
Superintendent Kieran English, head of contact management at Lincolnshire Police, said the force was currently working on a range of new ideas that harness new technology to improve the services offered to the public.
“We recognize that not everyone wants to engage with us in the same way. Some people prefer to speak directly to someone, others may prefer to contact us electronically,” he said.
“Any reporting of low level crime that comes in electronically will be dealt with within 24 hours, but fewer non-emergency calls will allow us to respond to assistance from the public that little bit quicker too.”
The public should still call 999 in the case of emergencies but anybody wanting to report a crime online can go to www.lincs.police.uk/report-online/.