Software allowing people to lodge complaints to police officers should be available next year, announced France’s Ministry of Justice.
‘Visioplainte’ will be available on computers and tablets (through the MaSecurité website), and as an app on smartphones and will allow you to report crime through a video call to an officer.
You will be able to use the website or app to connect and lodge your complaint, after making an appointment.
Proponents of the system say it will limit waiting times and the backlog at police stations, as well as allow those lodging a complaint to be more open and feel less exposed.
It is currently on trial in a number of towns in the Yvelines department, before its expected rollout next year.
It is part of the Ministry – and France’s in general – reforms to digitise online services, which recently continues with the creation of the justice.fr app.
Around €7 billion has been invested into new technology for security services as part of the Loi d’Orientation.
Streamlines the process for smaller complaints
It has already been possible, since 2022, to use MaSecurité to partially lodge complaints online, but the service Visioplainte will allow a complaint to be lodged completely remotely.
Currently, complaints over thefts or incidents where the perpetrator is unknown can be “prepared” online, before officially being signed by the victim at a station – but with Visioplainte victims can confirm the procedure online.
They will then be sent an email as proof of the complaint being lodged.
In some cases – such as when the complaint is being made against a named person (i.e., you know the offender), your officer will still make an appointment with the plaintiff in a physical location for them to sign the report.
This is also the case for more serious offences such as sexual or domestic assaults.
People will be able to access the site using their FranceConnect credentials, such as their healthcare/social security information.
Police officers in some of the towns where the system is already on trial say it has improved the experience both for the user and officers.
“It doesn't take anything away [from the report], there is even a little added value because the person is more at ease, in their element,” said one officer in the Élancourt police department.
“There may be people who are discouraged from going to the police station because they think they will have to wait. It allows you to get past that wait, it allows the police to adapt to the victim's schedule," added Alexis Maurin, commissioner of the department.