Public encouraged to report non-emergency crimes online
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As with many organisations, the force is facing unprecedented demand for its services and the police along with other emergency services are busier than ever.
Leicestershire Police has seen a 20% increase in calls to the 999 system over the last two years, which is a similar trend reflected nationally, but what people don’t always consider is if they even need to call the police at all and if they do, it’s not always necessary to pick up the phone and make a call there and then.
Currently the vast majority of non-emergency reports come into the force via the 101 telephone line and not everyone is aware of the option to report crimes and incidents online via the force’s website www.leics.police.uk
Since April 2019 people have the option to go to the website and click on ‘report’ and then choose the appropriate section.
They will be directed through a series of short questions to establish some basic details of what has happened. Once the information is submitted it will be assessed and allocated to the appropriate team.
On average the force’s contact management department receives in excess of 17,000 emergency calls, 25,000 non-emergency calls and 900 online reports every month.
Superintendent Steve Durrant, from the force’s Contact Management Department, said: “Being surrounded by modern technology, most of us are used to contacting organisations online. The option to report online was introduced to increase the accessibility for people who need to contact us and an increasing number of people actually prefer to interact online rather than via a phone call.
“Online reporting is dealt with by the same team that answer 101 and 999 calls and is assessed and dealt with in the same way as calling on the telephone, online reporting is an effective way to help us to deal with emergency calls, saves the need for callers to be on hold and can take less time to get a response.
“Our online reporting is mobile friendly so the public can interact with our force while ‘on the go’. When your report is logged you will be sent a reference number for any future correspondence and to make it easier to obtain an update on your report. The online reporting system is reviewed 24/7 and we aim to answer online reports within 24 hours but in the majority of cases it is much sooner.”
“We know that online reporting doesn’t suit everyone and if anyone does need to get in touch via 101 I encourage them to do so.
“So please think before you call us. Is it a police matter? Is an incident or crime happening right now? Do you need to call and speak to someone or can you make a report online? Your decision to make a report to us through a more appropriate option frees up the 999 line to someone who genuinely needs to make that call to us.”
For emergencies our advice is to always call 999 where it is safe to do so.
In an attempt to deal with the increased demand on its services the force has had a recruitment drive to employ more contact handlers. Over the next six months successful candidates will be going through training so they can support the existing teams.