Melton residents could soon be asked by police to report crime via a mobile phone app or via the website from July.
Leicestershire Police are trialling new ways of reporting incidents in a bid to cut costs and provide what it says will be a more user friendly service.
The government has said it wants forces to be using the technology by next year but Leicestershire police will slowly trial the new way of working so it can be developed by the time the service is officially launched.
The changes mean that people will be able to log minor crime or incidents via an app or the force’s website.
Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon said: “Face to face is high cost, over the phone is still costly, self service is a lot cheaper.
“It will be a bit like self service at the supermarket but we will teach people how to use it.”
The service could be used to report low level crime and for recording crimes for insurance purposes, one example given was for retailers to report shop thefts.
It is hoped that the move will also help when incidents reported fall outside the force’s remit. People will be directed to the right partner agencies after reports are made, which the force hope will also help save time.
To begin with the force will suggest people use the service when they approach the force through other channels. They will seek feedback as they try out the new service and continue to develop it before a full launch next year.
Mr Nixon explained: “We will then have to decide which channels to close down and which we maintain. If you don’t start closing channels down, you never get the efficiency savings or change people’s behaviour.
“We’ve had eight years of efficiency, we’re not going to save what we need to through printing and paper clips. It’s going to be people.”