Want to report a theft? There's an app for that
- Published: 18/12/2012 at 01:51 PM
- Online news:
Launched Monday in the UK, the Facewatch Personal Theft Reporting App, the first of its kind in Britain, enables users to report a theft via their smartphone, generate an insurance crime reference and even cancel their credit or debit cards.
Facewatch Personal Theft Reporting App automatically alerts the police, cancels credit cards and can identify potential CCTV footage. ©RioPatuca/Shutterstock.com
The app also ensures that the correct police force is notified of the crime (based on geographical location) and can be used to alert investigators to possible CCTV footage of the crime.
The app works with either an iPhone or an Android handset and if the smartphone itself is stolen, the app allows its owner to use another person's handset to report the crime.
Facewatch already offers a similar service to UK businesses via its Facewatch Business Crime reporting system, which is also used by nine of the country's police forces. The company recently rolled out an ID app that enables police in London and Surrey to share pictures of people of interest whom they wish to identify with the general public, based on their geographical location.
Simon Gordon, Executive Chairman, Facewatch Ltd, commented, "Opening up the Facewatch reporting technology to the public is a logical step in our development of tools to help reduce low level crime and make communities safer. This will provide a service that is perfectly suited for use via a smart phone. Geo tagging and the ability to upload images means information will reach the police faster than ever before and this will lead to more convictions and provide a further deterrent to pickpockets and bag snatchers."
The most recent quarterly crime statistics for the UK, published in October, show that between June 2011 and June 2012 there were 595,000 reported thefts from the person, up 20,000 from the previous year.
In the US, a start-up company called CrimePush rolled out its eponymously named app in July this year. Designed to empower and protect victims of crime, the app allows users to report criminal activity, capture audio and visual evidence and send out a distress call and can even identify places in the immediate vicinity that could provide help, shelter or protection in the event of an attack. But while CrimePush was developed from the ground up for consumers and is offered to US police forces as a ‘white label' product, so that the police force in question can brand it as its own service, Facewatch stated as a crime-reporting platform that has been adopted by the police and is now available to members of the public.
However, as the demand for high-end smartphones, tablets and headphones continues to grow, so will the threat of potential theft and the market for apps that can provide help and assist law enforcement in such situations is likely to follow.
About the author
- Writer: AFP Relax News
Position: News agency