Swedish police test online crime reporting

Uppsala residents are the first in Sweden to test a new method of reporting crimes to the police - via the internet.

The trial comes as a result of the new national incident report number, 114 14, receiving 30% more calls than expected since it was introduced six months ago.

That number, for more minor incidents, was designed to take the load off the 112 emergency number. But according to Svenska Dagbladet there were 150,000 calls to the new number in July, resulting in waiting times of 10-12 minutes. The target was an answer within three minutes.

Now the National Police Board wants to divert the less serious of the less serious incidents through a simple web site.

“Above all it should improve the service so you don’t have to sit in a telephone queue or get yourself to a police station to make a report,” said Joakim Jansson, head of Uppsala police’s contact centre.

But the improved service will not apply to the more serious crime reports.

“This is mainly for lost items or simple thefts. It’s not appropriate to report some crimes, such as robberies, in this way since we might need to deal with them immediately or ask more questions,” said Jansson.

If you want to report a crime you will first have to fill out as much personal information as possible, with contact details and the all-important personal ID number.

Once you have submitted details of the loss or theft you will get a receipt confirming all the information you have sent to the police.

The new reporting page will be up and running in the autumn and Marianne Stenstedt, who is leading the police board’s internet project, said that in the spring the method could be available in all police districts.

“This is going to be rolled out across the country throughout 2006 assuming it works well – and we think it will,” she said.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet