Police Scotland website fault limits public’s ability to report crime

The Police Scotland logo and name on a sign fixed to a brick wall. A woman walks past it to the right, facing away from the camera.
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A fault with the Police Scotland website has severely limited members of the public from reporting crimes against them.

The force’s online form for reporting non-emergency crimes is limiting users’ ability to describe their cases with a maximum character limit of just 50.

The form’s user interface indicates to users that they have a 2,000-character limit for each text field in which they can provide details about the nature of the crime, the time and location of the crime, and any known suspects.

2,000 characters equate to approximately 300-400 words of information, limiting the public from adequately reporting crimes.

A character counter above each field confirms this, as it states users have ‘1950 characters remaining’ despite it being impossible to enter any further characters into the field.

Police Scotland told ITPro that it was unaware of the issue but has now been flagged to its IT team for review.

The precise cause of the issue, which users seemingly cannot circumvent or remedy, is unclear.


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At the time of writing the issue is still live, and could effectively prevent victims of crimes including but not limited to hate-related incidents, stalking, or harassment from providing the full details of crimes via the form.

The error affects users who indicate that they are reporting a crime of which they were the victim, but does not affect those who indicate they are reporting a crime on behalf of someone else.

Users who indicate they are reporting a crime that is not among the eight listed in the drop-down menu at the top of the form are directed to call 101 or use Police Scotland’s online contact form, which is not experiencing any errors.

Rory Bathgate
Features and Multimedia Editor

Rory Bathgate is Features and Multimedia Editor at ITPro, overseeing all in-depth content and case studies. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.

In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, following four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at rory.bathgate@futurenet.com or on LinkedIn.