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How to report a crime

Encouraging people to report crime.

One of the biggest obstacles to encouraging community members to report crimes or local concerns is that many believe it is not worth it the time spent. This may be related to a perceived lack of a police presence or response.

Failing to report incidents to the police, particularly concerns such as driving offences, anti-social behaviour and vandalism can lead to under reporting.

Parish councils and local leaders can use their social media platforms and community magazines to explain the importance of reporting and how reporting data enables the police to better understand the issues facing the community and direct resources appropriately.

Reporting a seeming small piece of information could be providing the police with the final jigsaw piece to secure arrests.


How to report a crime

Crimes or information can be reported online, or by calling 101 (the non-emergency number). In an emergency, you should always call 999.

Find out about reporting a crime online

Reporting incidents or concerns, no matter how small they seem, is vital for helping the police understand issues within a community and direct resources appropriately. However, the quality of reporting can make a big difference for the police.

Where possible provide as much detail as possible: time frames, number of individuals involved, number plates, car colour, items of clothing worn. Where appropriate and safe to do so, also take pictures – this is especially useful when reporting vandalism.

Download resources to share information about how to report crime with your community


Reporting a crime anonymously

Crimestoppers are an independent charity that gives you the power to report crime, 100% anonymously.

Reports can be made by calling 0800 555 111 or by online form at anonymously 24 hours a day.

Crimestoppers send the anonymous reports to the relevant authority with the legal responsibility to investigate crimes, make arrests and charge people in order to bring them to justice. This could be the local police force or an agency such as the UK Border Agency or HM Revenue & Customs.

Download resources to share information about Crimestoppers in your community


Report a driving offence caught on your dashcam

You can report driving offences in the Lincolnshire area and upload video evidence you have captured from your dashcam through Lincolnshire Police’s Op Snap initiative.

Submitted footage and reports are examined and can be used to take action against drivers found to be breaking the law.

Read more about Op Snap and how to report a driving offence on Lincolnshire Police’s website

Download resources to share information about Op Snap in your community


Telling the Police about an unsafe area in your community

StreetSafe is a national service for anyone to anonymously tell the police about public places where they have felt unsafe and the reason for it, eg street lighting, abandoned buildings, vandalism, being followed or verbally abused.

Lincolnshire Police will be using the information given to work with partners to make our streets safer.


What data is being collected?

The focus of the initiative is to identify particular areas and factors that lead to people feeling unsafe and might help offenders either commit or conceal a crime – such as street lighting, abandoned buildings or poorly designed spaces, vandalism, as well as behaviours of individuals or groups of people.

StreetSafe is anonymous. There will be no questions about your identity, such as name or date of birth. However, there are optional questions about crime reporting as well as age, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, illnesses or disabilities. This information helps us to have a better understanding of the concerns you raise.

Find out more about StreetSafe or make a report

Download resources to share information about Street Safe in your community.


An app to help you provide an exact location to the police

What3Words is a phone app that allows you to provide an exact location to emergency services, helping them to find you quicker and potentially saving lives.

What3words grids the Earth into 3 metre x 3 metre squares and gives each square a unique set of three words – called a what3words address. For example, ‘habit.user.unstated’ is the what3words address for an exact spot along the promenade of Skegness Beach.

This app has helped Lincolnshire Police locate rural collisions as well as missing people on the coast. It is also vital for those in staying in holiday homes, campsites and caravan parks where many places don’t have an address.

Find out more about What3Words and download the app

Download resources to share information about What3Words in your community