Victims of crime in Melton and surrounding villages now have the option of going online to tell police about it.
A new page has been created on the Leicestershire Police website where people can report issues such as stolen vehicles, noise nuisance, fraud and other crimes.
Abandoned vehicles, stray dogs, lost and found property can also be reported and users are also able to give information anonymously if they wish.
Police say they have introduced the service to increase the number of communication channels with the public and make reporting crimes more convenient for victims.
Inspector Aimee Ramm said: “Many people do a lot of things online now – banking, shopping and booking holidays – which were traditionally done over the phone or in person, and we want to make that shift to offering an online service too.
“We want people to be able to contact us at their own convenience, in the comfort of their own home.”
Reports will be managed by officers working in the Investigation Management Unit (IMU), and actioned as they come in.
Detective Inspector Mark Ringrose, who heads up the IMU, said: “As a force – like many forces across the country – we are very phone-centred with almost all crimes we deal with called in to the control room.
“With a digital shift to online, being able to report non-emergency crimes by sending an email is an appealing prospect for some members of the public.”
Online reporting is to be used for non-emergency crimes – issues which traditionally the 101 number would be used for.
The public are advised to continue to dial 999 for emergencies or for the reporting of a crime in action.
Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner welcomed the move: “It’s so important that we give people as many options as possible to contact us, to report crime or simply to ask a question.
“Online reporting enables people to provide details of a crime at a time and in a way that is convenient to them. I think many people will find this option useful.
“This is a key part of my plan to ensure greater police visibility and easier accessibility for the public, reducing demand on resources internally while improving service delivery externally. It’s a double win.”
Go to www.leics.police.uk/reportcrime to give information on the new online service for Leicestershire Police.