The Police Service NI’s Non-Emergency Online Reporting Service is being upgraded to make it easier for people to report a crime online.
Chief Inspector Gerard Pollock from Police Service NI’s Contact Management Centre said this is the first stage of improvements to the Non-Emergency Online Reporting Service, which will continue over the next 12 months. He said “in response to the feedback from the Local Policing Consultation we committed to improving our online reporting service and this is the first stage of that”.
Chief Inspector Pollock said: “Until now, our online reporting service very often required people having to be called back to clarify details and could be frustrating. We want to make this a quicker and easier process for people to report incidents.
“With the work we are undertaking, exploiting new technologies to automate some of the processes, we are improving the efficiency of handling online reports. One of the key benefits is that reports made online will be considered in live time, in the same way a call to ‘101’ is.
“When a person submits a report online it will appear in our incidents list in minutes rather than hours on the old system, however, it remains a way to report non-emergency incidents. Using the latest technology means those reports will be received by contact management staff as soon as possible allowing them to decide the appropriate response in the same way as callers to ‘101’ are. When a report is submitted online, the reporting person will be updated. This will advise the person if police are attending, providing their incident number and key details on victim support available.”
Chief Inspector Pollock said “My advice to the public remains that in an emergency you should always ring ‘999’. That means when a crime is happening now, when the offenders are still at the scene or a serious road traffic collision has happened, you should still ring ‘999’.
“This is about improving the service delivered online so that the public get the same quality of service online as on our ‘101’ phone service. I also want to reassure the public our existing ‘101’ phone service remains unaffected.”
He added: “We are encouraging people who can report online to do so, especially at busy times. At certain times of the day we see spikes in demand on our 101 phone service, over lunchtime and when people arrive home from work, or indeed when people arrive into work. This is about being able to manage that telephone demand better so when we need it it’s available.
“Our aim is to make reporting an incident or crime online easier and quicker for the public and, in doing so, encourage use of the online system. This will help us to make sure we can prioritise those who need to speak to us the most via 101.”