Theresa May: Don't Call 999, Report Crimes Online Instead

By Gerald Lynch on at

With police forces stretched to their limits and idiots calling the emergency services when Facebook goes down, the UK public is being urged to report crimes that are not life threatening online rather than call the 999 hotline.

Home Secretary Theresa May, speaking at a policing conference held in London, stated that the change in reporting could free up valuable police resources, and likened using the system to buying goods from an online store.

"The growth in the internet has transformed other services - from shopping to banking - and it is right to give victims and witnesses greater choice over how they report issues to the police," said May.

"Early estimates suggest online reporting could save forces an estimated 180,000 officer hours a year and around £3.7 million."

And savings will need to be made -- the national policing budget will be slashed by £300 million in 2015.

However, some campaigners and police officials have claimed that May's suggestion could in fact prove harmful to the work that officers carry out. Officers get their best leads when out on the beat and talking face-to-face with citizens, while a reassuring chat with victims can help build better relationships in marginalised communities. Maybe they'd be best to integrate some sort of League of Legends LAN party in with filing a report then, too. [Telegraph]

Image credit: Police image from Shutterstock