New Facewatch phone App launched to help identify Police CCTV images

The Metropolitan Police are asking the London Public for help in identifying thousands of images relating to low level crimes from across the Capital using a new App called Facewatch id.

To help make identification extremely easy the images will be made available via a unique mobile phone App design by Facewatch with images supplied by the MET Police.  The App has already been responsible for the identification of 29 people in trials held in the last two months. Facewatch id is now available to all Police Forces in the UK.

Facewatch id, available on BlackBerry, Android and Apple smartphones, provides a selection of unidentified images of people the police would like to talk to within areas selected by distance from a postcode entered into the App by the user. If an image is known to the viewer they have the opportunity to take action and confidentially send information directly to the police using the App.

Facewatch who also provide an online crime reporting and CCTV film and image upload system to the police and London businesses have developed the new App in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police Services (MPS). The App has also been sponsored by BlackBerry manufacturer, Research in Motion.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, responsible for Specialist Crime and Operations said:

“The Metropolitan Police Service is determined to exploit the opportunities presented by CCTV to solve crime. The general public can support us in this – both by providing us with images – and then helping us to identify those who are responsible for committing crime. This new Facewatch crime App helps people to do this by giving them the ability to identify those suspected of committing crime in their local communities. I support the role that Facewatch can play in getting images to us faster and more efficiently – enabling us to arrest more criminals – and thereby making people feel safer. I would encourage as many people as possible to use the app to view these images and send in information.”

Simon Gordon, Chairman of Facewatch Ltd – developers of Facwatch ID, added:

“By using the very latest technology we have created a simple, easy to use and highly relevant way for the public to assist in the huge job of managing the capitals CCTV image database. The Facewatch id App runs off the same secure infrastructure running our free crime reporting system for businesses and is available free to any police force in the UK – further forces are being added in the near future. The system will play its part in ensuring a safer capital for the long term and for the Olympics.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, Head of the Visual Image Identification and Inspection Office of the Metropolitan police, said:

“The Facewatch id application will help the police to catch more criminals and by showing that CCTV is working it will help to stop crime as well.   The Facewatch image sharing system and online reporting service has already saved much police time and helped my officers to catch persistent criminals and prolific thieves – this new service extends the support that the company is giving to the police.   I encourage everyone to view these images and name those shown.  This will help to make London safer.”

The service launches today in London with over 2,000 images of people the MPS would like to identify. Facewatch id will shortly be including images from City of London Police and British Transport police for London and will be rolled out to across the whole of the UK over the coming months.

Stephen Bates, UK MD, Research In Motion, said, “BlackBerry smartphones are widely deployed across more than half of the UK’s police forces, delivering efficiencies and enabling them to spend more time on the streets and less time in the station. We’re delighted to be able to help the Metropolitan Police extend its reach further with this new app allowing it to engage with the public to help catch more criminals.”

Facewatch id background

The Facewatch id App has been created by Facewatch Ltd the organisation behind the successful on-line reporting and image sharing system which is provided free to all businesses across the UK.

The App will be available to users of all phones using BlackBerry, Apple (Iphone and Ipad) or Android technology.

Further information on the full range of Facewatch Crime reporting and image sharing products may be found at www.facewatch.co.uk

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