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More people asked to use self-service online forms to report crimes

PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 22 June 2018

Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

More people will be asked to report non-serious matters using a self-service online form, rather than phoning police.

Non-serious matters are causing delays with police         Picture: ArchantNon-serious matters are causing delays with police Picture: Archant

More people will be asked to report non-serious matters using a self-service online form, rather than phoning police.

According to the Norfolk Constabulary,a new telephony system has been launched ahead of summer to ensure vulnerable and at risk callers are being prioritised.

Specially-trained staff will to determine the severity of the call and advise whether it should be should be reported to officers or directed online.

Crimes such as; theft, hate crime or a non-injury road collision will have the option to the alert the police online .

Any crimes with dash cam or phone footage as well as anti-social behavior and criminal damage will have the option complete the self-service forms.

One of Norfolk’s top officers said calls to the contact and control room tend to increase to a daily average of 969 reports during summer.

Between January and May there were 103,325 calls to 101.

Last month alone there were nearly 23,000 calls to the number.

Calls waiting to be answered will hear a prerecorded message which varies from signposting guidance to the police website, giving bespoke police advice, directing the caller to another agency or relaying crime prevention advice. The prerecorded message will only affect the 101 number - the 999 system will remain the same.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Sanford said: “It is crucial as a police service we are available when people need us, at all times. This is why I am urging members of the public to think carefully before calling us,

“We understand that during peak times, people calling 101 have to wait to speak to someone – therefore where a police attendance is not necessary, I would encourage people to use our new and improved website, to free up our emergency and non-emergency phone lines.”

In the last 12 months, the average time taken to answer 101 calls has increased by over a minute to two minutes and 45 seconds.

Police have said only a third of these calls to 101 require a response.

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