New crime prevention app released

Published 10:13 pm Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Virginia State Police have launched a new crime prevention mobile application to enable reporting of suspicious or criminal activity to be captured as a photo or written note and sent to the Virginia State Police.

Today, the Virginia State Police launched the new crime prevention mobile application See Something, Send Something. The reporting app enables suspicious, criminal activity to be captured as a photo or written note and sent to the Virginia State Police.

“The fundamentals of investigating and solving a crime haven’t changed,” said Maj. Rick A. Jenkins, deputy director of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. “But, keeping the public engaged with us through the crime-solving, tip-sharing process has evolved, and now so have we. This app is simply the 21st-century version of the traditional telephone crime tip line or hotline.”

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The application, which can be downloaded at no cost for iPhone and Android phone users, also includes information on what to look for and when to report suspicious activity. The app does not replace 911 and should not to be used for someone needing immediate police action or to report an emergency.

The photograph or information submitted by a citizen via the app goes to the Virginia State Police for review and analysis. If the tip is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation or incident, then it will be forwarded on to the investigating law enforcement agency. If the tip is unfounded, then the information provided, and the name and phone number of the tip’s provider, are permanently deleted. There is no archiving of tips or collection database.

The app provider, My Mobile Witness, uses patent-pending privacy protection software for safeguarding the integrity of tips and citizens’ personal information. The system allows law enforcement to engage citizens without tracking one’s location or storing personal information. Submitted tips are immediately removed from the mobile device and purged from the My Mobile Witness system once delivered to the Virginia State Police for analysis.

The service works throughout the country, as geo-tagged tips are routed to the appropriate law enforcement agency, as long as it is participating.

A 30-second public service announcement about the app is available for viewing and download at www.vsp.virginia.gov.