Police minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new Police Digital Services Centre, Te Whare Torotoro Waea Pirihama, in Paraparaumu.
The Kapiti Coast centre aims to help transform the way Police communicate with and respond to the public, offering new channels through which the public can connect with force, Nash said.
“This week Police launched a trial where for the first time, people can go online to make a report via the Police website," he said. "Till now this was only possible through a phone call or visit to a local station, or a Police visit to their property."
The online crime reports cover all the questions a Police officer would ask and will be managed by a dedicated digital team at the Kapiti centre, which will house 200 people when fully staffed.
Online reporting will also reduce inappropriate use of channels such as the emergency 111 number, Nash said.
The trial will initially focus on lost property and property damage such as vandalism, which account for over 78,000 reports to Police each year.
Police are also working on a single non-emergency number to minimise inappropriate use of the 111 service, which is planned to go live next year.
A virtual service point is also being piloted where a digital portal connects the public to a Police staff member.
Last month a procurement revealed upgrades to its enterprise communications network (ECN) and technologies across 300 sites nationwide.
Among other objectives, the project aims to upgrade network capacity, rationalise and refresh ageing infrastructure and simplify network management.
"The ECN must cater for future innovation and delivery of major planned initiatives, as well as align to Police’s broader strategies for mobility, and agility for site relocation or commissioning," a request of information (ROI) said.
At the opening, Nash also said that of 150 Police front counters closed due to health and safety or accessibility problems, 82 have been refurbished and reopened and upgrades are underway to the remaining 68.