Police urge public to ‘consider online services’ when reporting crime

Cambridgeshire Constabulary report 101 online crimes

Cambridgeshire Constabulary are urging people to report non-emergencies online, rather than calling police following a surge in demand. - Credit: Archant/rawpixel.com 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is urging the public to use online services to report crimes and non-emergencies following a “surge in demand”.  

The force’s ‘Demand Hub’ received 15,205 emergency and non-emergency calls in the two weeks following the last easing of restrictions on April 12. 

The statistics show nearly 2,000 more than in the two weeks prior to that, with a total of 13,396 recorded during that period. 

Officers say that domestic abuse and road related incidents have gone up and more crime has been reported across the county.  

Detective Superintendent Michael Branston, head of demand, said: “The number of Covid-19 related calls are dropping but overall calls for service are climbing. 

“Our call handlers are working tirelessly to provide the best service possible but I’m encouraging the public to consider our online services where appropriate. 

“In an emergency always dial 999, but for non-emergencies our force website has an array of information and guidance as well as forms to report crime, intelligence and Covid-19 breaches.” 

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Recent statistics show that 96 per cent of users would use the force’s online services again, 94 per cent said all of their tasks had been completed and 88 per cent said the online services were easy to use. 

Those who are pressed for time, hard of hearing or can’t talk freely can visit the dedicated web chat page or click the green button in the bottom right corner of any page on the force’s website to start a chat with a specialist operator. 

“As normality continues to return for the public, the same is true for policing”, said Det Supt Branston. 

“Our Demand Hub staff are available around the clock should they be needed, but I would ask people to first consider the online services available. 

“With the wealth of resources available on our website it can be quicker to try there and keep a call handler free for someone who may need their help more urgently.” 

A police spokesperson said: “The [web chat] function is provided by specialist operators so that you receive the highest quality service. 

“Messages are handled in the same way as online reports or 101 calls, but much faster. 

“The service is great to use if you are hard of sight or sound or if you're in a situation where you can't talk freely on the telephone.” 

To begin a web chat, visit: www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Web-chat