Tuesday, April 10, 2012

StreetViolence.org: Crowd Sourcing Maps.....the Police Don't Want

In February, Witness Confident, a London based nonprofit, launched StreetViolence.org  in an attempt to bring a crowd sourcing approach to a segment of crime it felt has gone under-reported - street crime.  As described on the StreetViolence.org website, the effort is designed to, "make it easier for victims to report street violence, easier for witnesses to engage, easier for locals to judge how safe their streets are, and easier for the police to catch violent criminals".  

However, despite Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) involvement in the project for over a year, their concerns about aspects of StreetViolence.org caused them to walk away from the project prior to launch.  To learn more, use the links below:

Comment: It's too bad the issues that prevented the MPS from endorsing StreetViolence.org could not be worked out before the site was launched.  However, MPS concerns are understandable.  Just because StreetViolence.org has the technology to make something happen, doesn't mean their system output will fit cleanly into the policies and structure of the organization it is ultimately supposed to be supporting; in this case, the MPS.  However, the flip side of the situation is that approaches like StreetViolence.org and Crime Push (See: Not So Fast - Crime Push) are crowd sourcing technologies that are certain to find their way into the law enforcement community at some point in the future because they are force multipliers.  Hence, the speed at which that happens will be driven entirely by the rate at which the Emergency Services Sector and technology communities can understand each others' perspectives. 

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