Police record 74% rise in people reporting crime on constabulary website
PUBLISHED: 05:30 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:56 31 May 2019
More people are turning to the internet to report crime, with figures showing an increase of three quarters in use of the police website.
Suffolk Constabulary last year recorded a 74% rise in the number of crimes being reported online compared to 2017.
Reported crime made up almost 60% of a total 10,980 submissions to the 'report something' page of the constabulary's suffolk.police.uk website, which also dealt with about 100 dashcam uploads a month, and almost as many reports of anti-social behaviour (1,109) and road collisions (1,363).
The rise sharpened following the launch of a new telephony system at the police contact and control room (CCR) in May.
The new internet protocol (IP) telephony system was designed to improve communication and management of surge in demand - with messages pointing to the website if non-emergency 101 callers are waiting in a queue.
The system handles email, texts, social media and webchat, allowing 'channel shift' to other contact methods.
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In October, the website added specified forms for theft, retail theft, vandalism, hate crime and anti-social behaviour.
A report to the police and crime commissioner (PCC) said the website was continually being developed to meet business and public needs, adding: "The website has had an increase of online crime reporting since the launch of the new telephony system in May 2018 and the specified forms in October 2018.
"Interactions on social media have increased with the demand becoming greater.
"The national social media survey, which the constabulary supported, has given the constabulary an understanding how the public want to interact with police on social media."
Meanwhile, the force continues to experience heightened demand for emergency calls, with end-of-year figures showing a 9% increase of 9,905 calls from 2017 and a 17% increase of 18,448 calls against the four-year average.
However, overall call volume has reduced, with fewer people calling 101.
Suffolk PCC Tim Passmore said: "I'm delighted the public has responded so well.
"It offers an alternative to the phone call for non-emergencies and passing on intelligence, saving them a bit of money (until 101 charges are scrapped in April 2020) and helping the police."