MANILA – The Philippine National Police on Wednesday launched a mobile app which seeks to help the public immediately report criminal activities.
The app named “Bantay Krimen” was developed by engineers from the University of the Cordilleras in coordination with the Philippine National Police – Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management (PNP-DIDM), enables registered users to view crime incidents, call the nearest police station by pressing an icon, identify “crime hotspots” and report crimes in real time.
“Bantay Krimen” will initially be made available to users of android-run devices by downloading the free app from the Google Play Store.
PNP Chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said that this app is a product of the PNP’s ongoing “Lambat-Sibat” anti-crime drive which will be used first in Metro Manila.
“At the moment it’s only NCR-wide the deployment of the crime map for the country is ongoing. (But) we will continue to improve it such that it will be accessible to more users and we started focusing first on the major crimes that have impacted the communities at NCR and these would be crimes against property,” Marquez told reporters during the app’s launching held at PNP headquarters in Camp Crame.
The PNP Chief said that he is confident that with Metro Manila residents reporting crime incidents using the app, police response would be improved.
“Well in terms of opportunity when citizens are informed that their particular area is a hotspot for robbery and theft probably the normal reaction is shy away from the places then you don’t get victimized by crimes (and) taking of opportunity I would like to think crimes would be prevented. most victims are not in that particular area then they will check the apps when you are entering a particular robbery or theft prone areas so you could take care your bags, cellphones, wallets while going to those places. Part of the commanders’ responsibility is making sure our people exercise caution, security measures,” he explained.
Regarding the safety of the concerned citizen who reported, Marquez said “we are not going to broadcast that you are the one who reported this crime. you have that commitment and we assure you will remain anonymous, the reports will be made confidential.”
According to Nataniel Vinent Lubrica of Unviersity of Cordillera, the Bantay Krimen Mobile is community based tool in promoting crime awareness, reporting and prevention at the tip of every Juan’s fingertips with use of their handheld Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs – cellphone or tablet) gadgets.
Lubrica said the app requires GPS location especially for its main feature of hotspot notification wherein the user will be notified if he/she is entering a crime hotspot zone.
The following are some of the app’s features:
*View Crime Incidents – users can view crime incidencts by logging in and setting the area of location they want to view. They can view information such as address, modality, date, time and reporting unit. This can be view by clicking an icon in the map.
*Call the nearest Police Station – with just click away, this features enables users to report on-going crimes or emergencies to the neares police station located by GPS or they can manually select police stations by the number provided in the app.
*Hotspot Notification – With the GPS turned on, users can be notified on proximity of a crime hotspot zone. Notifications will be sent by the app as a messages promting the distance from a hotspot zone or if the user is already within the hotspot zone area.
*Report Crimes – using mobile application, crimes can be reported in real time and be displayed in the dashboard and the map monitoring polica stations. Reporting can be forwarded through the app or through the web. Report type include normal reporting and SOS reporting. The “SOS” button which once pressed, will alert police immediately. The SOS reported in real time location and time, this is for the incidents that require immediate action.
*Crime Reporting Dashboard – the crime reported is stored in a web databease where police officers can monitor and respond to the reported crimes. Aside from the database, reports are also viewed in a map to rationalize the deployment of resources.
For his part, DIDM Director Benjamin Magalong said that to prevent pranksters from messing with the reporting system, only registered users would be allowed to send reports to the police.