Northamptonshire Police become third UK Police force to launch Facewatch ID
The general public in Northamptonshire now have the ability to assist the police in identifying ‘people of interest’ from their smart phones using the new Facewatch ID App. The App has already shown success in London and Surrey following its launch by the Metropolitan and Surrey Police in 2012. (The Metropolitan Police have received over 180 positive IDs in just 6 months, June- Dec 2012)
Facewatch is available free of charge on iPhone, Blackberry and Android smart phones through the relevant application stores and works when a user inputs their postcode into the App. The user will then see a number of CCTV images of individuals uploaded by the Northamptonshire Police CCTV team.
If a member of the public is able to identify an image they then have the option to confidentially upload any information they may have. For ease of use the user is able to narrow down searches by choosing a radius around a specific postcode.
The images, which are uploaded directly by officers onto the app, are ‘people of interest’ – meaning they are sought in connection with an incident or active investigation and the officers would like the public’s help in identifying who they are.
This new development forms part of a wider focus by the Northamptonshire Police on ‘Justice’, where more information relating to crimes will be made available to the public.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds added, “People can view the images by simply inputting a postcode into the screen and selecting a radius of up to five miles. This will display a number of images of people connected to incidents in their selected area with a function for providing information immediately and confidentially to the police. For me, victims of crime are a top priority. The aim is to keep members of the public and more specifically victims of crime involved in the justice process”.
The faces of Northamptonshire’s most wanted people can still be seen online on the Northamptonshire website in the Most Wanted section. This section allows the police to appeal to the public for information about certain people; officers either want to speak with in connection to an offence or are wanted on a warrant for failing to appear at court or on recall to prison.
The public will also be kept updated with the details of court sentences which will be available to view online.
The Facewatch app will also be available on officers’ BlackBerry phones, so that they can view the images while they are out and about on duty. The images can also be viewed through the police website: http://www.northants.police.uk/justice
Superintendent Dave Hill, Head of Organisational Delivery at Northamptonshire Police, said:
“Mobile phone technology, social networking and real-time communications are all a part of modern life. As a Force we recognise that the demand for this must be met with modern day policing.This innovative application is an exciting step towards this for us and will not only help us solve more crime, but will also allow members of the public to play an active part in it.People can view the images, when they like, where they like. And if they recognise someone, they can simply send an immediate response through. In the same way, officers will be able to view this library of pictures when they are out and about allowing for quick identification, and thereby helping to solve more crime in our county”.
“This new ‘people of interest’ section forms part of a wider focus that we have launched, focusing on the justice theme, on our website. We want to inform and involve our communities more in the justice process. This section on our website will provide members of the public with quick and easy access to people we want to identify, people who are wanted as well as good results of people who are now behind bars.”
Facewatch Director, Michael O'Sullivan, said:
“We are extremely pleased that Northamptonshire Police has chosen Facewatch as their partner. Facewatch ID has proven to be highly successful in encouraging the general public to assist the police in solving crime in London with over 100,000 downloads of the app and 8.5 million images viewed in the first five months of use during 2012. We hope the success will be repeated in Northamptonshire.”
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Facewatch was founded in March 2010 and is the only police approved system for businesses wishing to simply and quickly report low level crime to the police online. Facewatch crime reporting is a free service to businesses and police and provides an open platform solution and a standard interface between police and the business sector. Currently operating in six of the major UK police forces, the Facewatch system is being adopted across more forces rapidly as its success in reducing costs and assisting in solving crimes is recognised.
Facewatch has also recently launched a highly successful free mobile App, Facewatch ID, for the identification of police issued images by the public using postcode proximity. Images are supplied and uploaded directly by the Police and this is currently available in London and Surrey.
- Online crime reporting using any device with an internet browser
- Instant crime reference created for insurance purposes
- Free immediate cancellation of victims credit and debit cards by CPP’s Card Protection
- No special equipment required other than internet access
- Works with any existing CCTV system or even without CCTV for reporting only
- Upload clips of moving footage to show just the relevant CCTV. No CD’s required.
- Automatic paperless witness statements for every incident reported
- Perfect for shops, licensed premises, hotels and all CCTV monitored premises
- Highly visible deterrent to criminals through branded signage
- Instant online image sharing in groups such as Pubwatches, Shopwatches, BIDs, BCRP’s shopping centres, high streets, retail chains and larger retail groups
- Strong emphasis on preventing and detecting prolific offenders
- Direct link to local Police forces and appropriate officers – Police update the crime status throughout the investigation and can use the system for secure messaging between the business and case officers which remains on the case file
- Creation of posters showing images of banned or suspect persons for use by staff
- Full statistical analysis with key performance indicators showing Police status and success rates in solving the crimes
- Supported by licensing teams and recognised as a positive step in reducing crime
- The only system to be accredited by ACPO ‘Secured by Design’.
- Victims and businesses updated automatically online with police progress of crime investigation