‘Pioneering’ crime-tracking website praised

Avon and Somerset Constabulary says more than 30 forces have inquired about its online crime-tracking website that was praised as “pioneering” in the recent IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) report Open Justice: Empowering victims through data and technology.

Jun 21, 2012
By Paul Jacques
Stuart Cowan

Avon and Somerset Constabulary says more than 30 forces have inquired about its online crime-tracking website that was praised as “pioneering” in the recent IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) report Open Justice: Empowering victims through data and technology.

Introduced in March 2011,TrackMyCrime (TMC) allows victims to log onto the secure website and get updates about the progress of their case and receive email or text alerts about new details as soon as they are uploaded into the police system.

The think-tank IPPR said TMC was a “pioneering” example that “allows victims of crime to access the progress of the investigation of their crime as well as contact the officer leading the investigation”.

The report added: “It allows victims to access the current status of their crime online in the same way they might expect when accessing a bank or mobile phone account online.

“In the past, people have had to wait for a police officer investigating the crime to contact them with updates that would often be at a time that was not convenient for them. TMC sends information to the website as soon as the police computer system receives it and victims are automatically alerted to updates via a text or email alert. This allows people to access the information at a time convenient to them.”

An early evaluation of the scheme has shown that there is a high level of satisfaction among both users and police officers: 89 per cent of victims questioned felt that the information they needed was provided quickly and 93 per cent felt their questions were answered adequately. More than three-quarters of police officers who had used TMC would recommend the service to victims.

Sussex, Derbyshire and South Wales forces are now all looking to roll out their own versions while Dorset Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Northamptonshire Police and Kent Police offer similar tracking services.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary says TMC will not replace speaking to a police officer in person if the victim chooses, but will give people more choice about how and when they get information from the police if they are a victim of crime.

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