Now you can stay informed on crime and safety issues in your neighborhood through a locally developed alert app called CrimeSpotter.

Knowledge is power in the effort to stay safe. Now you can stay informed on crime and safety issues in your neighborhood through a locally developed alert app called CrimeSpotter.

The citizens of a country feel the effects of crime the most, and should be given more direct participation in the reporting and discussion of crime. More needs to be done to intensify the fight against crime by using what is available today to improve communications and information gathering.

Fighting crime with technology

What is needed is a drive to use technology to widen the crime-fighting capabilities of South Africans and to unite against a common criminal enemy. CrimeSpotter is an easy to use crime reporting and alert app, using the power of the community to gather and share data. Bringing communities closer together with technology and information that can be shared quickly and centrally.

CrimeSpotter is an independent initiative by In-Detail Advertising, a Johannesburg based design agency who developed the app to try to curb the alarming crime rate in South Africa.

Neighbourhood watch

The aim of CrimeSpotter is to mobilize South Africans in crime prevention by becoming the eyes and ears of their community and actively reporting all crimes and providing any additional information possible on those crimes which have been reported by others.

For example, most property crimes can be prevented by taking simple steps such as locking doors and removing valuables from plain view. If you know that these types of crimes are being reported in your neighbourhood, you can better prepare to protect your property. CrimeSpotter is ideal for Community Policing Forums (CPFs), neighborhood watches, townships, estates, road closures, security companies, and active citizens.

Easy crime reporting

The CrimeSpotter app allows users to rapidly report crime incidents and suspicious activity. Crimes are mapped and nearby users instantly notified. Providing incident awareness to all residents, security companies, CPF members, and the police. Reporting incidents on CrimeSpotter does not replace an official police report and is done to alert others and to contribute valuable data to the central crime database. This data can assist in the formation of crime prevention strategies of law enforcement and security companies.

Crimes can be searched or browsed as pins on a map or in a timeline format. All crime information is public as this is the guiding principle behind the project – to map and share up-to-date countrywide crime trends.

Trending crime statistics

Many crimes go unreported as the only incentive to go to a police station and report a minor crime is for insurance purposes. As the yearly crime statistics rely on these official police reports there is an inaccurate depiction of crime levels. This app aims to solve this and provide realtime trending crime statistics.

Whatsapp groups are widely used for sharing community information but are often segmented to roads or small private groups and are prone to local politics and abuse. CrimeSpotter simply connects all residents based on their location and is centered purely on safety and security. The alert radius can be set to anything between one and 10 kilometers providing users with localized detail. While the app makes use of your current location, additional places may be added should you want to monitor other addresses pertinent to you.

CPF Communication tool

CrimeSpotter is a powerful tool for community Policing Forums(CPFs) who can actively engage and gather accurate crime information from their communities, helping them to fulfill their mandate as an interface between the South African Police and the community. There are an estimated 1144 CPFs across South Africa who will hopefully make full use of the app.

Security companies

Private security providers are also recognized as a key contributor to safety and can contribute greatly to the statistics. By reporting and commenting regularly in the app, they will gain free exposure in their communities which will lead to increased awareness of their activities and lead to new business.

CrimeSpotter is a free App and allows for anonymous crime reporting. In order to protect privacy, no personal information is included in incidents mapped by this service. The ability to actively combat crime is now in everyone’s hands. Search CrimeSpotter on your App Store.

Originally published at cbn