Victims of crime should be able to track their case online from the moment it is reported to the point when justice is served, a think-tank says.
Police forces should develop crime-tracking applications so that people can follow their cases through the system, the Institute for Public Policy Research recommends. The IPPR, a left-leaning think-tank, says that not knowing about what is happening in a case is a key cause of frustration for victims and undermines their confidence in the criminal justice system.
It is calling for details on the progress of cases – including arrests, investigations, judgments and transcripts – to be published online by the police, courts and Crown Prosecution Service, as long as it is legally safe to do so.
The IPPR recommends that online "crime maps" should be made interactive and display real-time information, which can help prevent and reduce crime.
It praises a pioneering website called TrackMyCrime, set up in March last year by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
The report concludes: "The effectiveness of the criminal justice system depends crucially on the public's confidence in it."