All frontline police officers in Queensland will now be able to contact members of the public involved in an investigation by SMS in a bid to resolve crimes faster.
Queensland Police last week launched a tool that allows officers to send SMS messages from their police email account to victims, witnesses and suspects, and have the recipient reply to it.
Until now, police have only been able to contact those involved in an investigation by telephone or by visiting in-person.
But Queensland Police said this created problems when people don’t answer phone calls marked ‘private’ or ‘no caller-ID’.
It resulted in a trial of the tool in the Brisbane South, Logan and Gladstone areas last year, which 88 percent of the community and 78 percent of officers supported in a survey.
Messages are used by police to request details or make an appointment to meet, with information like the crime report number provided to identify the message as originating from police to reduce the risk of scams.
Senior sergeant Andrew Lake said the tool would make it easier for the public to engage with police to resolve investigations.
NSW Police also use SMS messaging as a method of contacting those involved in an investigation, which they also access through their email system.