Police have released an app for Apple and Android devices that makes it easier to report an emergency or not-so-urgent problem, and to receive alerts or check if a vehicle is stolen (a service also available via the web here).

The free NZ Police app is on Apple's AppStore here and Google Play here.

It was developed by Christchurch-based Smudge, the Police's long-term partner for building and deploying internal apps.

"Since we equipped our front line with mobility devices as part of our Policing Excellence programme, we've been rolling out purpose-built apps to enable our people to do their job better and faster. The Police App, however, is the first made for the public," a spokeswoman says.

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It offers news alerts about traffic or weather events by region, the ability to make a 111 or 105 (non-emergency) call with one-click, plus the ability to upload photos and text if you're reporting an incident.

If you've fallen onto the wrong side of the law, there's also a link for paying fines online.

And there are some basic crime-fighting stats in a Data Insights section.

"Our staff will always be at the centre of keeping people safe and making them feel safe. However, as Commissioner, I've also ensured we are able to maximise technology developments to provide for new and improved ways to access and receive policing services, as part of our mission 'to be the safest country'," Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

The app is part of a wider suite of work Police is undertaking to modernise its service delivery to ensure everyone in New Zealand, including international visitors, can access policing services anywhere, anytime, Bush said.

"I look forward to announcing further digital technology developments in early 2020."

Checking on a license plate.
Checking on a license plate.