NYPD Now Allows Online Complaints For Certain Low-Level Offenses

Filing a complaint with the NYPD just got a whole lot easier when it comes to certain offenses. You can now go online instead of going to a precinct; CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports.

Video Transcript

- Filing a complaint with the NYPD just got a whole lot easier when it comes to certain offenses. You can now go online instead of going to the precinct. CBS News Andrea Grimes explains.

ANDREA GRIMES: Lose your cell phone or wallet in the Big Apple and you may end up waiting hours to file a complaint at an NYPD precinct station house. But not anymore.

MATTHEW FRASER: Instead of schlepping into a Department facility to do that, you now have the convenience of doing some of that stuff from home.

ANDREA GRIMES: For the first time in Department history, the public can now file a complaint for certain low-level offenses on its website, nypdonline.org, instead of in person. Those offenses include lost property, petty larceny, criminal mischief, and graffiti. Police say those categories make up some 143,000 complaints per year, or more than 20%.

DANIELLE PEMBERTON: Those are some of the lower-level complaints that come in, right? The easiest that would be able to handle, be handled online.

ANDREA GRIMES: And ones they say often do not require followup from the detective squad. Here's how it works. When you log on to the website, you have to create an account with a valid email address and password. The site takes you through several prompts to submit information and pictures. Once completed, you'll receive an email confirmation.

JOHN CAPPELMANN: It'll be reviewed by a supervisor at a precinct like they would with any other type of crime complaint.

ANDREA GRIMES: Within five business days, if no other information is needed, you'll get a copy of the official report, the same one you'd get if you went in person. An easier system for the public, they say, and for the Department, since it frees up officers to focus on more serious crimes instead of paperwork.

NYPD officials say they are looking to see if they can expand this category, Liz, so people can report even more online. But they stress this is not a replacement for calling 911 in case of emergencies. Outside police headquarters Andrea Grimes, CBS 2 News.

- The NYPD says this is also part of its larger online efforts. You can also get car crash reports online and look up certain police disciplinary information.