Policing app aims to offer easier public contact as ‘crimes often go unreported because of inconvenience’

The Police.UK platform offers Android and Apple users nationwide functionality for reporting crime and other incidents, as well as providing tailored information on local teams of officers and community initiatives

The police has launched a new mobile app through which people across the country can report crime.

The new technology has been created to help address the challenge that “crimes and incidents can often go unreported because it’s not always convenient to make a phone call or visit a police station”, according to senior officers.

The Police.UK app enables users to report crime or other incidents, as well as providing advice on how to prevent common crime types, such as burglary or vehicle theft. This functionality is consistent throughout England and Wales.

The software also offers content tailored to individuals’ location, detailing “local neighbourhood policing teams, listing who is on the team, local crime information and priorities and any upcoming meetings in the community”, according to a press release.

Additionally, the app replicates what is offered via the Single Online Home website, which supports crime reporting and advice and support services for 38 of the 43 local police forces across England and Wales.

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The technology – which is now available for download via both the Google Play and iOS App Store platforms – was delivered by the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Digital Public Contact (DPC) programme.

DPC’s senior responsible officer, and deputy chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary, Simon Megicks said: “We want to make it as easy for the public to contact the police, or find what they need to know such as how to keep themselves or their property safe, or understand what is happening with their local policing team. The Police.UK app puts the public in control to report what they want, when they want to. We know that having a digital choice opens a door for many, meaning where they wouldn’t have reported information before, they now will. Crimes and incidents can often go unreported because it’s not always convenient to make a phone call or visit a police station.”

He added: “Having the option to report digitally puts the victim or witness in control and prevents them having to verbally relive the incident out loud to someone they have never spoken to before. They can take ultimate control by using the app in a way they want. Having an app to complement our growing digital offering allows us to give a wider audience a different choice. It must be stressed, however, that if it is an emergency the public should always call 999, and the option to call 101 for routine issues absolutely still exists.”

Sam Trendall

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