Police chief sees ‘no added value’ in visiting victims of minor crimes at home | UK | News

Giles York, Chief Constable of Sussex, said it was more “convenient” for officers to deal with the public by phone or online.

And victims can help investigations by emailing crime scene images and composing their own witness statements, he said.

He defended response times for the 101 non-emergency police number, saying seven minutes “isn’t long” for crime victims to have to wait.

But his remarks infuriated campaigners who said it was evidence of police becoming increasingly remote.

Harry Fletcher, founder of Voice4Victims, said: “The impact will be that victims and the public will lose confidence in the criminal justice system.”

Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, said: “Seven years of brutal budget cuts mean the police are being forced to make difficult decisions that the public won’t like.”

Mr York said victims of minor offences should not expect police to come to their homes.

He had to consider “what’s the purpose of us going there”.

And he added: “If it’s just because the individual wants to see us, is that really the best use of policing time and investigation time?

“If your children are ill, you might quite like the GP to visit you in your house. But it wouldn’t even cross your mind now, to think to call a GP to visit your house.”

He said police would still visit those who had suffered in serious crimes such as burglaries but he claimed that many people would prefer to deal with police online rather than waiting for officers to arrive.

Mr York added: “It can often be an awful lot more convenient for people to have a service delivered by email or by text rather than having the commitment of a face-to-face meeting.”

Of businesses, he said: “It’s a lot more convenient for them to fill in their own form, send documents and CCTV.”

Many forces now allow the public to report crimes and incidents online or via social media.

In future, victims will be able to track the progress of investigations through a secure website.

Police are struggling with record numbers of 999 and 101 calls as crime rates rise.

Mr York said: “Getting through to the police when you ring, especially in an emergency, is so important.When you look at wait times for 999 calls it’s an incredible service we deliver.”

Police officers look set to be the first group of public sector workers to get a “cap” busting pay increase.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon appeared to confirm today that ministers are expected to signal this week…

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