Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 16, 2017 (SKNIS): Officials of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) are hopeful that the detection rate as it relates to crime in the Federation will be increased with the new Crime Reporter App, which was launched on Wednesday, February 15, under the theme #EmpowerSKN.
The launch of the app, which forms part of the government’s efforts in crime fighting, can be used to anonymously report offenses to the local police. Tips can be given using text and or pictures and every report will be quickly reviewed by dispatches at the nearest police station and handled accordingly.
Cromwell Henry, District A Commander of the RSCNPF, explained the app briefly and said that it will be very useful to the general public and also to the Police Force.
“This app is another opportunity for the public to interact with the police. The app allows them to report on future crimes, that is, if you overheard a conversation [maybe] somebody is planning to do something, you can alert the police,” said Commander Henry. “There is also a category to report past crimes. If a crime has already been committed and you have information as to who committed it or where stolen items might be, you can also report that. Or, if there is a crime in progress, [for example], you are witnessing someone breaking into someone’s home or you witness someone attacking someone else and you want to send that information to the police you can also.
Mr. Henry said that in addition to the categories outlined, persons can also use the app to give a crime tip. He encouraged citizens to use the app just as they would use Crime Stoppers (1-800-TIPS), which already exists.
“I would want persons to use all available reporting techniques and to choose which one they are more comfortable with. We have the issue of persons who are concerned about their identity being revealed because they are afraid of reprisals and so they prefer to remain hidden and so this app provides that option for persons who want to speak with the police to give information while remaining anonymous,” said the District A Commander. “So I would want persons to see it as an option and not necessarily to use it as an instead of or the other. If you are comfortable with the other tools, use those.”
The commander said that the app is confidential. However, users have the option of whether or not they wish to be identified.
“But by default, it is anonymous. There is no identifying data about you or your phone sent with the message, just the raw data that you typed in would be sent. It is encrypted. Once it leaves your phone, it then goes to a portal where it is decrypted and sent directly to the police. No one else has access to it, it comes up on the screen at one central point,” he said.
He said that the app users need not be concerned with the information showing up all over the place because there is control over who sees the information and what happens to it. The app can be downloaded from the Google and Apple Play Stores. So far, FLOW has agreed that no data charges would be applied to persons who utilize the Crime Reporter App and the Government Directory App.