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Police consider shutdown of late night crime reports via internet

Due to a dramatic increase in unreliable, often drunken night time reports on its online crime reporting page, the Finnish Police is considering shutting down the service during late night hours.

Poliisi istuu tietokoneen näytön äärellä virka-asussaan.
Police computer. File photo. Image: YLE

The newspaper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat reports that the police are busy most late nights - trying to determine whether the complaints coming in on its web-based crime reporting page are genuine.

The late-night internet crime reports, which come in at a pace of about one every 20 minutes, are often made by intoxicated people and are illogical and flawed, police told the newspaper.

Regardless of the quality of the complaints, police still have to spend time determining whether each complaint is genuine and often need to follow up with phone calls to the complainant.

Police officials are now considering whether to shut down the web based service between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am, according to the newspaper.

25 percent increase since last year

The number of crimes or complaints made via the police’s online reporting page during night time hours this year was about 8,400, or an increase of about 25 percent compared with last year.

The total number of complaints last year - both day and night - was 103,000. As of the end of September this year, the number of complaints is around 87,000.

The police online reporting system was set up in 2003, and meant as a way to contact police about non-emergency matters.

On their website, police advise people to use the emergency telephone number 112 in case of actual emergencies that require immediate police attention.

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