As a way to make reporting crime more convenient, the St. Paul Police Department has launched a Web site that allows people to file reports online. St. Paul police's reporting site, www.stpaul.gov/onlinereport, went live last week and was officially rolled out Monday.
Online reports can be made for non-emergency crimes such as property damage, fraud and forgery, and theft from automobiles. For a full list of appropriate crimes that can be reported online, visit the city's Web site.
The online system is expected to decrease non-emergency calls to 911 and free up officers who would normally respond to some of these minor calls, said Steve Linders, a spokesman for the St. Paul police. Officials hope that the system will offer another level of convenience to citizens, he said.
“This is a great tool. People who simply want to report a crime that has no solvability factors no longer have to wait for an officer to respond or call them back,” said Assistant Chief Kathy Wuorinen, in a statement.
“It also allows the department to allocate resources to address the most serious crimes and analyze crime trend data, which ultimately makes our city a safer place.”
Meg Ubel, 53, of St. Paul, went online Friday to find the nearest police station to report property she had lost. Then she saw she could file a report online. The entire process only took "10 minutes at most," she said.
Once a user submits the online police report, it is reviewed by an officer, entered into the records management system and assigned a case number. The person who reported the crime is emailed a confirmation of its acceptance and can also a print a copy of the report.
Along with online reporting, people still have the option of having a St. Paul officer respond in person or using teleserve, which allows people to provide information over the phone for a report.
Minneapolis has offered online police reporting since 2006, said Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder. Last year, the department received 3,849 citizen e-reports.