Online crime tracking offers justice for victims
Victims of crime could soon follow police inquiries in the same way they track an online order with Amazon or a supermarket. The "TrackMyCrime" tool has been a massive success during trials in Avon and Somerset finds a report by think tank IPPR.
he report argues that every police force in the UK should offer a similar system to the online crime tracking tool which was trialled in the West Country.
The study showed 95% of users were satisfied with how they were treated by police -- compared with around half nationally and 93% of victims felt their questions were answered adequately. In addition, 89% of surveyed victim users felt that the information they needed was provided quickly and 77% of victims were satisfied with the follow up service provided.
Rick Muir, IPPR associate director, said that crime maps and online information about police force funding are important accountability tools but victims want information relevant to their own case to be made easily available to them.
He said: "Victims deserve to be kept informed throughout the whole justice process, from the reporting of a crime to sentencing by the courts or reasons why cases did not result in successful prosecutions."
According to Muir, if banks and delivery companies can keep customers informed online, the police and criminal justice system should be able to keep victims updated too.
The IPPR report recommends crime maps should be made interactive and display real time information to change them from being purely a transparency and accountability tool to one that could help prevent and reduce crime.
According to the IPPR nearly half of the victims surveyed (46%) did not feel that the criminal justice system treats victims fairly and most victims (58%) who reported incidents to police were not given any updates on case progression.
Effective communication had a direct impact on confidence in the system, found the IPPR. Victims who were updated less than monthly or not at all are less likely than victims who were kept regularly updated to agree and more likely to disagree that the criminal justice treatment treats victims fairly.
Open Justice: empowering victims through data and technology to download from: http://bit.ly/IPPR9191