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PSNI updates online live reporting platform for victims of domestic abuse and fraud

Woman holding phone in hand showing PSNI’s online reporting platform

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has added bespoke victim-focused Domestic Abuse and Fraud reporting options to its online reporting platform, complementing the existing pathways for crime, anti-social behaviour and road traffic collisions.


Assistant Chief Constable Ryan Henderson says having this bespoke option for reporting domestic abuse online, or for a person to report on someone else's behalf, is an alternative to speaking on the phone.



"Domestic abuse is a particularly frightening crime type. It can affect anyone, often leaving them feeling isolated and alone,” says Assistant Chief Constable Henderson. “It's a stark fact that we respond to an incident of domestic abuse, on average, every 17 minutes. Involved in each incident is someone who needs help.


"For victims to pick up the phone, to tell us what they're suffering and to ask for help, takes tremendous bravery and courage. And, often, it’s difficult to find a safe space and time to do so. Emergencies should always be reported via ‘999’, and the option of calling ‘101’ remains, however, by having this bespoke option to report online, or for someone to report on a victim's behalf, is an alternative to speaking on the phone."



The form to report domestic abuse will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Reporting persons are asked to ensure they're safe to take that time to complete it. A 'leave this site' button is there if required, which closes the site and opens the Google search engine so the form won't be saved and won't be sent to police. Police urge anyone worried about someone seeing their web history to clear it as soon as possible.


The report asks for contact details and the preferred method of contact, details about what’s happened and the person causing harm.


Police will respond at a time and in a way the reporting person has asked for. A receipt email will not be sent, as is the practice for all other reports made to the PSNI, as this could pose a threat to safety. The online report will be dealt with in the same way as other reports of domestic abuse.



Assistant Chief Constable Henderson added:


"We also hope this bespoke online option will increase reporting of this dangerous and terrifying crime type. We, as a Police Service, are here to help and we will do all we can to support victims of domestic abuse."


Reporting Fraud


Suspected fraud and scams can also now be reported online. Fraud offences are frequently reported to police, and in the 13 months between December 2022 and 15th January 2024, there were 5,412 reports of fraud made to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, with reported total losses of approximately £23.1 million**.



Fraud offences are complex to investigate as many of those responsible are from outside Northern Ireland and, therefore, outside PSNI’s jurisdiction. With this bespoke online option, reporting persons will know within minutes if their report will be dealt with by police, or be referred to Action Fraud.


You can make a report online at https://www.psni.police.uk/report which is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can continue to call police to report a non-emergency incident via 101, always dial 999 in an emergency.


More…


• Between 1st January 2023 and 30th April, 2024, PSNI has received 34,812 online reports.


• Online reports are considered in live time, in the exact same way as a ‘101’ call.


• Each report is triaged by a professionally trained call handler from a Contact Management Centre (CMC), just as 101 calls are.


• There is no waiting in a ‘101’ queue, and people can make a report at a time that suits them, all in a matter of minutes.



• The reports are received instantaneously by CMC staff allowing them to decide the appropriate response, in the same way as they would with 101 calls.


• The reporting person is updated with details including their incident number, and advised if police are attending, or if the report can be dealt with and resolved by phone, and any relevant support information or advice.


• If police are attending, the person will be given information including details of the attending officer, and any other key information such as crime prevention advice or victim support.

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