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Facewatch add app

Facewatch has announced that it is launching a Personal Theft Reporting App which will be a free public version of their online business crime reporting website. Trials will be run in the New Year with full availability during early 2013. It is hoped that police will sign up to this initiative.

The new App will allow the public to report personal theft of valuables using their mobile phones. The App will provide an insurance crime reference and the option to cancel all payment cards free, with one call. The App will enable a victim of phone theft to use a friend or third parties phone to report the crime.

Information will be available to the relevant police force via the Facewatch system and if there is CCTV available the victim will be able to provide the details of the premises or CCTV owner who will be emailed automatically and encouraged to upload the relevant evidential CCTV footage, so saving police time. Importantly for the victim, they will automatically be kept informed of police progress.

The new App will enable pre registration by users. They will also be able to upload photographs and other detailed information about an incident to help increase the chances of a successful outcome. An important feature will be the ability to geo-tag the information, ensuring that reports are sent to the correct police force.

This announcement follows the launch in June 2012 of the Facewatch ID App which is available in London and Surrey with more forces to follow shortly according to organisers. The App attracted over 100,000 downloads and 8.5m image views in the first five months, said to be the fourth most downloaded Iphone App in the UK immediately after launch.

Facewatch ID is a free App which the public can download to view images in their postcode vicinity of people the Police have authorised for public display and would like to identify.

The Facewatch system is in use in by nine police forces areas across the UK and more than 6,000 business premises are registered or committed to register on the system. The basic system is free for businesses and the police, with premium versions which include tools for business crime partnerships and corporates.

The engine behind the App will use the Facewatch Business Crime reporting system which enables businesses to upload CCTV images, photographs, witness statements and other details of so-called low level crimes that occur in their retail or licensed premises to police. The system was on trial in London Victoria during 2011 to provide an improvement in solving low level crime when using Facewatch to report the crime. Each Facewatch reported incident it is claimed also led to a two hour saving of police time.

Simon Gordon, Executive Chairman, Facewatch Ltd said:”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.”

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