Witnesses and Victims to report offences online

Victims of non-emergency crimes in England and Wales will be encouraged to report minor offences online in order to save police time and money.

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The new scheme which is already on trial in Surrey and Sussex will urge victims and witnesses to report less serious crimes online as opposed to calling 999. The offences which cover low level crime such as criminal damage and minor theft, will give victims and witnesses greater choice in how they report crime.

Nottinghamshire police are also expected to adopt the scheme as it rolls out nationwide in the coming months. If embraced by all forces across the country, it is predicted to save £3.7m.

Whilst it will save 180,000 officer hours each year, and free up more police officers to work on the frontline this is likely to have implications on the future of police jobs. Nottinghamshire police force are currently in the process of closing down seven front counters, which perhaps couldn’t be more timely.

However Theresa May, the home secretary has suggested the system would help transform policing in the same way the internet has reshaped other sectors.

Olwin Edwards is the Divisional Manager of Nottingham Victim Support and she is against the idea of reporting crime online instead of phoning in. She said that there is a huge difference between reading written words than face to face talking.

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