New Interactive System Launched for Victims of Crime

A new way for victims of crime to speak directly to police officers handling cases has launched across Thames Valley Police.

The innovative Victim’s Portal will enable people who have reported a crime to check the status of the investigation, get updated as their case progresses, and message the officer in charge of their case (OIC), all through a link on their phone or computer.

As a victim of crime you will receive an email or text message inviting you to the portal. You cannot go online and sign up for access without an invite following reporting of certain crime types.

Currently, the portal is not available for all crime types, this new system will be trialling this service for around 50% of crime types that meet certain risk criteria.

Thames Valley Police and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary are the first forces in the UK to offer victims this service.

After someone reports a crime to 101 or 999, or via the TVP website, they receive a link to use the Portal to check the status of the investigation. They can also find the name and collar number of the OIC handling their case and their crime reference number.  To request an update, the victim can choose to use the new two-way messaging function to contact their OIC directly.

Those who do not have access to the technology will still be able to contact the police in the usual ways.

The Victim’s Portal enables victims to access key information in one place such as their crime report, victim rights and the support services that are available to them.

Chief Superintendent Simon Dodds, Head of Contact Management for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and Thames Valley Police, said: “This is a trailblazing piece of new technology, putting victims at the heart of what we do, which is a priority for us. We know that being a victim of crime can be a really traumatic time, so we are trying to make this process as easy as possible for our victims. Feedback from victims so far has been very positive, with many saying how easy the Portal is to use, and that they are pleased to have that personal contact method. Instead of going through our 101 call handlers to request contact, victims now have a direct line of communication to the heart of their investigation. This will increase support for those who need it most, while dramatically reducing the demand on our 101 and 999 service.”

Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Improving the communication between the police and the public is a key priority. It is a focus in my recent Crimefighters Strategy and the public need to know they can get hold of the police when they need help.  I am excited to see the results of this trial. This technology will not only support victims of crime to have that two way personal communication with an officer about their case, but it will have a much wider impact on the contact between the public and the police. Around 20% of calls to 101 are for updates to crimes already reported. By introducing new digital ways for victims to get timely information and updates from frontline officers, the force will be able to reduce the demand on 101 and improve the experience and waiting times for people making that initial call for help or to make a report.”

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