Burlington’s police department has rolled out a new option for residents to report certain criminal offenses – particularly those smaller, hard-to-solve crimes that people report primarily to have them officially documented, in some cases especially for insurance purposes.
For the past week and a half, the city’s police department has been directing folks who call about these relatively low-priority crimes to a new online reporting system that’s meant to cut down the time and effort of filing a conventional police report.
This new web-based service isn’t designed for emergencies, acts of violence, or crimes where the suspect is known. Nor is it intended for incidents that occur along the interstate and other highways. The department is nevertheless promoting its use for certain other non-violent offenses that occur within Burlington’s city limits.
Among the crimes that this system is tailor-made to address are credit card fraud, property damage and theft, harassing phone calls, hit-and-run accidents without physical injuries, identity theft, lost property, shoplifting, and motor vehicle damage or theft. This online resource can also be used to add supplemental information to a police report that has already been filed.
During a city council meeting on Tuesday, Burlington’s police chief Brian Long hailed this online option as a fast and convenient way for people to report crimes for legal or insurance purposes. Long acknowledged that the new method has seen fairly light use since its debut on April 25.
“‘We did a soft launch of this, and we’ve only received a limited amount of reports,” he told the city council. “But we haven’t received any negative feedback.”
Long noted that, as of Tuesday evening, the department had logged 22 reports through the new service. He added, however, that he expects the online system to gain ground as more people find out about it, and he predicted that it could constitute 15 to 20 percent of the department’s total reports within the next year or two.
Residents interested in the new service are encouraged to visit www.BPDCRIME.com to learn more about the online reporting or access the system directly.