Surrey Police have launched an app helping the public to report crimes and monitor police activity
A crime fighting iPhone app that provides real-time policing updates and non-emergency contact information was launched by Surrey Police today.
The force hopes the free app will reduce cases of wasting police time and improve public awareness of the police’s work.
The app, developed by UK independent mobile software specialist Multizone, provides one-click access to the relevant phone numbers, social media and email contacts as well as crime reporting facilities from Crimestoppers.
Local open police data has also been integrated into the mobile application along with street level crime data from the police application programme interface (API).
Chief Superintendent Gavin Stephens, head of neighbourhood policing for Surrey Police said: “The application has been tested extensively for compliance with the stringent requirements of Apple’s App Store. It reaches the bar we set for it of allowing local residents to interact with Surrey Police in a variety of modern ways, while reducing the demand on emergency calls.”
Policing the the police
Using the data, comparisons can be made by ward area, with breakdowns of intervention activities set against borough crime statistics. Users can also openly rate the local priorities set by Surrey Police and suggest alternatives, all of which is fed to a Twitter feed.
A special police-only update is in development which allows officers on the ground to provide updates on their activities for the public via Twitter but at the touch of just a couple of buttons. These updates can be visually clustered on maps.
Multizone said it used Appcelerator Titanium to develope the app because it provides a cross-platform development environment for native apps, from a single codebase, for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Angus Fox, a director at Multizone said: “The software platform is made up of several applications and services integrated using open social networks and data. These allow Surrey Police to be able to demonstrate the feasibility of community engagement with the public in a cost effective way.”
A wider rollout of the app is expected across the Android and BlackBerry platforms shortly.