New interactive website set to revolutionise contact with the public
West Midlands Police has taken the first step towards a new
interactive website that's set to revolutionise the way members of
the public contact the force - and give people the chance to report
some crimes online.
A beta version of the new web portal has been launched today
(July 27) - and the force is asking members of the public for
feedback on how it can be fine-tuned or improved before a full
The site breaks new ground for West Midlands Police by giving
people the chance to report low-level crimes online, track the
progress of cases and access a wealth of information and advice on
a wide range of issues.
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson, said: "This
is more than just a new website: it's a move that transforms the
way we interact with the public and has been driven by a huge
appetite from people for us to 'go digital'."
A stand-out feature allows users to report some 'low risk'
offences - things like making off without payment, criminal damage
and theft - online and create online accounts allowing them to
receive updates on how their case is progressing.
It includes a secure statement generator allowing victims to
provide details about the offence and investigators to prepare
statements digitally without wasting downtime on the road to gather
And a "What if…?" query box means portal visitors can get help
and advice on everything from parking and anti-social behaviour to
burglary and domestic abuse.
Bespoke information has been generated on a huge range of
subjects - all written by subject matter experts - so members of
the public can get answers they need without having to call the 101
CC Thompson, added: "Many people now conduct the bulk of their
transactions online whether that be shopping, banking or
socialising - and as a modern police force we need to reflect that
trend for people to reach us at a time and place that suits
"A number of police forces use online reporting; it's more
convenient and an additional means of contacting us instead of
phoning or visiting a police station - but of course people can
still do that if they wish.
"It would only be used to report low-level crimes. For serious
offences, or cases involving people who are vulnerable, of course
we would send police officers out in person because there's a very
good reason to see the person, to take care of them and gather
"More than a third of the 101 non-emergency calls made to us are
from people simply wanting help and advice - and through the new
website they will be able to access that with just a couple of
"We hope that by giving people access to the answers they want
online - as well as recording and tracking their crimes at their
own convenience - it will allow us to focus on the more serious
calls we receive on 999 and 101."
Public consultation revealed that almost 80 per cent of people
wanted to be able to report non-emergency crime online and 86 per
cent to be able to track the progress of crime investigations via
Melina Hancox, Divisional Manager at Victim Support, said the
new web portal is good news for victims. She added: "They will have
information in one place, helping them to access the services they
need to help them cope and recover from being a victim of
"I welcome online reporting for low-level crimes and West
Midlands Police's commitment to ensure victims of serious crime
will continue to receive face-to-face contact and support from
officers who can take care of them and gather evidence. This is
particularly important for vulnerable victims."
A dedicated email account - email@example.com
- has been set up for people to send in their comments about
the beta site.
West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson,
added: "I fully endorse West Midlands Police's work on this
exciting new website, modernising the force to provide additional
services that the public demands.
"People are used to similar services in banking and retail and
rightly expect a modern police service to be able to deliver it
"I have lost count of the number of people I have met over the
last few years who have asked when they will be able to report
certain crimes online to West Midlands Police."