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Community Crime Swarm

Eliminate crime with multiple witnessess in real time
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There is a great website in my murderous/vigilante-phile city, called projectnola.com, which features real time transcribing of police events happening in the city (by people listening to the police scanner). For example, the other day I heard what sounded like gunshots in my neighborhood and I logged on to projectnola and within a minute it was reported on the scanner, transcribed to the site, and subsequently reported that it was just fireworks. But just as often they report murders, shootings, what cars to be on the look out for, descriptions of perps etc. This is a crime blog.

It occurred to me that perhaps crime in major cities could be significantly decreased with the addition of one Google Map API. When the location of a crime is reported via the police scanner, operators at the site could click on a Google Map indicating the coordinates of the event happening in real time; subscribers to the site, having previously indicated which types of crimes they would like to be notified of AND the radius from which the crime is happening in real time would be notified. If they are within the radius, and the crime is a crime they would like to be notified of, they would be texted or tweeted, to be on the look out for descriptions of the perps. If enough people signed up, this could be a method to enlist 100's of people as potential witnessess as crimes are occurring, which in my estimation could potentially substantially increase conviction rates and decrease witness intimidation.

leinypoo13, Oct 20 2009


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Annotation:







       Police bands _are_ openly broadcast. Anyone can buy a scanner and monitor the frequencies.   

       There's no such thing as "police business". I suspect those cops who shooed you away were looking for a "perp's" stash so they could smoke it later.
phoenix, Oct 21 2009
  

       Where in the idea is the concept of a police invitiation mentioned? The idea specifically speaks to a technology-enabled Neighborhood Watch-type grassroots program.   

       Besides, I'd consider those "10 most wanted" posters at the post office to be an invitation to get involved, albeit that many of the wanted "should be considered armed and dangerous".
phoenix, Oct 21 2009
  

       [21] It's a good point that it may encourage vigilantism.   

       If it was well known (it would have to have a critical mass in order to be effective) and that it is to be used for info only, similar to 1800CRIMESTOPPERS, than that might discourage heroes from trying to enact their fantasies.   

       I hope that it would be used independent of any legislation and more of a community watching the community tool, like a real time guardian angels. In fact, the website already has real time email blasts, rss feeds and crime maps, it's just not geographically specific enough to be effective, as I get alerts from across town, which I can't do anything about. But if it happened in my neighborhood, I imagine it like this:   

       Text to me: 60S (aggravated shooting), 2 males, gold car last seen on Claiborne, (within a mile of my home).   

       Me: Walk out my door and see several other people who walk out their doors to look up and down the street. If I/we see something perhaps that car turning down a street, call CRIMESTOPPERS and say what we saw.
leinypoo13, Oct 21 2009
  

       I like it, because most of the technology is already there.   

       The bit about specific location is rather dicey though. A lot of programmers shy away from speifying location too carefully for privacy reasons, so finding an effective way to filter for that may be tough.   

       Also, a lot of corporations and less legitimate entities are attracted by the idea of specific location, and if such a method is found, they may attempt to hack into it. Security could be a big issue, especially in areas where highly-organized crime is well established. After all, some mobs aren't afraid of killing off dozens of witnesses, to the point that even if there are thousands of witnesses, none may dare come forward.   

       All the same, this would be a pretty good way to deter, and/or catch and convict disorganized crime.
ye_river_xiv, Oct 21 2009
  

       I forget the name, but a sci fi. short story based in the not too distant future has all incomes for the elderly people suplimented by taxes for wearing real time live feed glasses and passively policing their neighbourhoods.
I thought it was a good idea when I read it and so is this, as long as it remains observe and report. (+)
  

       This would cause chaos for the police - crowds of people contaminating crime scenes, the aforementioned vigilantism, et al. Just like rubbernecking on the freeway, many people just want to see a body, or have that "I was there" story to tell others. I think this would cause more problems than it solves.   

       Better would be to text/tweet/blog any BOLOs the police put out, which is how, I think, you meant the idea, [leinypoo13], rather than reporting all the crimes that take place.
CaptainClapper, Oct 22 2009
  

       //forget the name//
seconded, possibly Dick or vanVogt; I vaguely remember a couple sitting on a park bench.
FlyingToaster, Oct 22 2009
  

       I think something like that showed up in Earth by Brin, but don't quote me on it.
MechE, Oct 22 2009
  


 

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