A new online crime reporting service has been officially launched across the capital.

Metropolitan Police has launched the new online reporting system to efficiently report crimes on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or computer through the police website.

This is aimed to serve as an alternative method to calling 101 as there can be a long telephone queue on this line at busy times.

However the police have stressed that in an emergency people should continue to call 999.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons said: "It is important the Met moves with the times and we know more and more people want the ability to report crime online in a place and at a time that suits them.

"The process has been made as simple and easy as possible. The public are taken through a series of online steps to make their report and the very first question asks them if this is in fact an emergency.

"I want to reassure people that this is not an automated service - each report will be triaged by one of our experienced call handlers, the same ones who take 999 and 101 calls in our control rooms, within 45 minutes of a report being submitted.

"Where needed, we will continue to visit victims of crime face-to-face but online reports for less serious offences mean an officer does not need to visit an address to take details. This frees them up to attend the calls where they are needed most."

Over the last six months the service has seen 51,000 crimes or incidents reported online and on average the police will respond within 48 hours to crimes reported online, but if it is deemed more urgent officers can be diverted to attend sooner.

Feedback collected in March on the service has shown it is considered quick and easy to use, and each report will be reviewed by someone who also assesses 101 calls.

Visit https://www.met.police.uk/report/how-to-report-a-crime/ to find out more or to report a crime.