Crime victims to track cases 'as easily as parcels in post'
VICTIMS of crime in Notts will soon be able to track the progress of their cases as easily as tracking parcels on the web.
Notts Police are planning to introduce the TrackMyCrime service after it proved a hit with other forces.
The system gives victims a unique number which, when typed into a secure website, allows them to see what work officers have done so far towards solving their case.
It is similar to services already provided by firms such as booksellers and courier companies to allow customers to track orders. It will be optional, so victims can still get phone and face-to-face updates, too.
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The plan was revealed by police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping.
The system was pioneered by Avon and Somerset Police, which has been using it for two years. It is hoped it will save officers' time and also mean victims can find out what is happening with their cases 24 hours a day.
Scott Fulton, electronic services manager for Avon and Somerset Police, said: "A lot of people expect this kind of service now from tracking things like parcels and although it's not for everyone, that's the way some people now want to be updated.
"We're proud of it and it's working really well."
The system uses online banking-style security and its protection measures have been tested by external experts.
The technology will mean officers still only update their own in-house systems, which are then linked automatically to the service.
Mr Fulton added that although Notts may need to do extra work and incur costs, it would have to pay only about £1,500 a year to Avon and Somerset for the service.
Olwen Edwards, Notts divisional manager for Victim Support, said: "One of the biggest issues is victims being communicated with. In some ways [this service] is useful, but you do need to talk to people and have things explained. It can't be the only way victims are communicated with.
"I have been burgled and I knew at the beginning it was very unlikely they would find anybody. But in other cases you do want to know what's happening and how it's progressing."
A Notts Police spokeswoman said: "The force has been monitoring the progress and use of TrackMyCrime in other forces and is looking to implement it within Notts later this year."