TrackMyCrime will allow people who report a crime to follow it through the investigation stage easily and securely, exchange messages with their investigating officer to make sure they are up to date with how the case is progressing, and have their questions answered quickly.
This builds on a number of recent government initiatives to improve the help and support available to victims, and is just one part of a package designed to make the criminal justice system easier to navigate.
Launching the service at the inaugural International Crime and Police Conference, Victims’ Minister Mike Penning said:
This government is committed to doing the best it possibly can for crime victims and has committed more money than ever before to doing so. We are working to try and double the existing funding available for supporting victims.
We are introducing a range of new measures to put victims first, including legislation to enshrine their rights in law and a one-stop-shop to help them find expert support. We have also met the coalition commitment to establish 15 new female rape support centres while putting the existing 71 on a more secure financial footing.
TrackMyCrime builds on this by giving victims more control over their case than ever before and allows them to find out information in a way and at a time that suits them. This is a common sense approach and I look forward to seeing police forces across the country adopting it.
TrackMyCrime will keep victims updated on the progress of their case, allow them to submit details about stolen or damaged property, and find information on support and advice.
Crucially, officers and victims can securely exchange messages with one another at any time and police can regularly update victims on the progress of the case. This offers more flexibility for victims and will be more efficient for police officers working shifts.
The website will not replace speaking to a police officer in person, but will give people more choice about how and when they can get information about their case. It is expected this will reduce the volume of calls to the non-emergency 101 number.
The Home Secretary also yesterday announced that the Home Office will work with Surrey and Sussex police forces to develop a prototype for people to report non-emergency crime on www.police.uk.
This will give victims greater choice over how they report issues to the police and could eventually be made available across England and Wales.
It is estimated that online crime reporting could save up to £3.7 million and 180,000 officer hours per year if it is adopted by all forces.
These innovative sites build on the Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) ‘Commitment to Victims’ launched in September, which included putting a victim’s right to tell a court how their crime has affected them into primary legislation and a new nationwide Victims’ Information Service to provide victims with better information and support.
Plans to require advocates to undergo specialist training before taking part in sexual abuse or rape trials are also being developed, which will make going to court less distressing for victims.
Female rape support centres have received £4.1 million each year since 2011 from the MOJ, rising to £4.4 million in 2014/15 with an extra £2.15 million announced at the end of last year, while a coalition commitment to open 15 new centres across the country to help even more victims of rape and sexual assault has also been met, and increased the number available to victims to 86.
In addition, more than £1 million is being provided to specialist rape support organisations across England and Wales as part of the first ever fund to help male victims of rape and sexual violence.
TrackMyCrime was designed and developed by Avon and Somerset Constabulary and acquired by the MOJ at the start of 2014 with the aim of making it available to all police forces in England and Wales.
Victims in Avon and Somerset, Kent and South Yorkshire are already using TrackMyCrime. Further police forces plan to go live in 2015 including Humberside, Lancashire and Lincolnshire with even more forces across England and Wales expected to follow throughout the year.
Crime Manager at Avon and Somerset Police, Det Chief Insp Susan Wilshire, said:
Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s primary focus is to ensure every victim of crime receives the highest level of service, and we are pleased that victims nationally will now benefit from the TrackMyCrime service.
TrackMyCrime will be extended in the future so people can follow the progress of their case through the entire criminal justice process.
Notes to editors
- TrackMyCrime was developed by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, and acquired by the MOJ at the start of 2014.
- The MOJ has been working with the Home Office to host TrackMyCrime on police.uk.
- The MOJ committed in the ‘CJS Strategy and Action Plan’ to making TrackMyCrime available to police forces in England and Wales and to encourage all forces to have a plan in place for an online tracking system for victims of crime by April 2015.
- To view the website visit www.trackmycrime.police.uk
- The International Crime and Policing Conference 2015 is being attended by delegates from the US, Canada and New Zealand including Professor Franklin Zimring from UC Berkeley School of Law, Toronto Chief of Police William Blair and Former Mayor of Christchurch Sir Robert Parker.