Where do you go for help when you are afraid to report a crime to the police? The answer is a surprisingly long – and growing – list of community groups working closely with police. Tomorrow’s Women’s Hate Crime discussion event provides a glimpse of police work which may be unknown to many of us. Here Police Sergeant Hazel Leslie explains how Third Party or Remote Reporting resulted from the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
The McPherson Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence recognised that there was a reluctance by some people and communities to approach the police directly to report a crime. The report recommended that there should be a place other than a police station where people could report crime.
Lothian and Borders Police introduced its first Remote Reporting Centres in 2000 aimed at serving race and faith communities. Partner organisations [like Amina–MWRC who are organising the Women’s Hate Crime event] are trained to complete a remote report form which they then submit to the police.
As well as completing the report, the agencies can offer support and advice to the victim or signpost them to someone who can. The procedure is victim led and they have the choice on what they would like the police to do with the information given. Since 2000 the number of sites has expanded to about 100 and covering all sections of our communities. A list of organisations trained to take Remote Reports and further information on the process is at www.lbp.police.uk/takecontrol.
Lothian and Borders police is always interested in training new partner organisations and so anyone who is interested should contact PS Hazel Leslie, firstname.lastname@example.org who will be delighted to discuss it further.