Video chat platform/app Skype has long been replacing the way people contact each other, from personal calls across the globe to teleconferencing in business environments. Now it may finally find a place in contacting law enforcement. The police in the UK city of Peterborough have revealed a trial program where crime reports and follow-up interviews can done over Skype. Now, this isn’t for emergency calls to police, like in the event of an attack or serious injury, but rather for those time when an officer would to someone’s home to discuss something less serious.
Currently, when citizens dial 101, the non-emergency phone number for police, they can schedule a time for an interview with an officer, either at their home or at a station. The trial program gives them the option of using Skype to talk to an officer if it’s more convenient.
A spokesperson for the Peterborough police mentions that this is meant to make things easier for people with busy schedules. “We understand people have busy lives and this service will provide flexibility, with appointments from 8am to 10pm seven days a week.” It’s also likely to be more efficient for officers, as they have the flexibility to spend more time on patrol, and visiting people’s homes when it’s really needed.
The police say the Skype interviews will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and there will be times when an in-person meeting is still necessary. It certainly seems like a useful implementation of Skype, and one that can benefit those on both sides of the call.