Sanford’s online crime reporting makes police aware of unreported crime

Online reporting system makes it easier for you to report minor crimes

SANFORD, Fla. – The Sanford Police Department’s new online crime reporting tool is getting results, making the police aware of crimes they might never have found out about and enabling investigators to get started on a case immediately.

The online reporting system makes it easier for you to report minor crimes, especially when a police report is needed as proof of a crime, like for an insurance claim. Since it went online in July, 68 people have taken advantage of the system.

Major Crimes Investigator Sharon Nettles said the Citizen’s Online Reporting System (DORS) will automatically create a police report for property crimes, identity theft, criminal mischief and “things not considered emergencies or that officers don’t have to respond immediately.”

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Instead of coming to the police station to meet with an officer or calling an officer out to your house, you can file your own report on Sanford Police Department’s website.

“Meaning that now we have more officers on the road and on patrol being out there and being seen and the person is not affected because they’re doing this from the convenience of their own home because they don’t have to rely on waiting for an officer to show up,” Nettles said.

And there is no waiting for an officer to look at the report, start the investigation and even prevent another crime.

“So once they go into the website and initiate the process of the online reporting it goes into a database where supervisors are able to see it and send it up where it needs to go,” Nettles said. “Normally the turnaround would be the next day when the victim would be contacted. And if we see any similar reporting maybe linking them together, that’s very helpful for us to identify trends within the city.”

And even identify the same suspect behind multiple crimes.

Sanford Police said of the 68 total reports received through DORS since July, 20 were for theft, 17 for financial crimes, seven for criminal mischief and four for harassment.

Nettles admitted there’s always a percentage of crime that goes unreported or underreported because people are afraid to come forward or don’t want to bother.

“Yes we do worry about it because it does affect the statistics and crime trends,” Nettles said. “So this now will enable them from the convenience of their own home to use any mobile device, computer, anything with internet access to report the crime.”

Again, DORS is not for reporting a tip about a crime or reporting a crime where a suspect on the loose. If that’s the case, call 911.

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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for News 6 and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting.