SAULT STE. MARIE -- It’s being done in other communities, and now citizens in Sault Ste. Marie and Prince Township can report certain crimes online.

"Basically what it does is it allows the organization to provide greater access to people in Prince and Sault Ste. Marie in terms of a 24-7 reporting process," said Sault Ste. Marie Police Chief Hugh Stevenson. "Sometimes residents don’t always want to wait for the police to attend for less serious offences. And now, they can simply go online, make the report, they can upload videos and photos to the system."

This online reporting tool has been in the works since last year.

For the past month, it has been operational, but with no publicity. In that time, 30 crimes were reported through the new online system.

Police hope now that it’s public, more people will take advantage.

Only certain crimes will be allowed to be reported on the website.

"Theft from a vehicle under $5,000, theft under $5,000, lost property, mischief or damage caused to a vehicle or to property, lost or stolen license plates, bicycle registrations and any type of supplementary or additional report," said Chief Stevenson.

He added that if the victim still wants an officer to attend, that will happen.

If there is evidence at the scene of the crime or if a suspect is known, reports cannot be made online. Victims will have to call the police at 705-949-6300.

Sault police also announced it upgraded its online bicycle registration tool.

Staff are hoping citizens will upload pictures, the value of the bike, when and where it was purchased, as well as the serial number to the database.

"We do get a lot of calls for stolen bicycles," said Lincoln Louttit, manager of corporate communications for the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. "So we hope, and it’s our goal, that this registration will allow us to return more bicycles back to the proper owners after they’ve been reported stolen."

Chief Stevenson says it takes less than 10 minutes to either report a crime online or register your bike.