Londoners should be able to report crimes and upload photographic evidence direct from their smartphones according to a new report published today by Conservatives on the London Assembly.
The party claims an investment of just £15,000 would allow the Met to commission and develop a purpose built smartphone app which could track the location of victims via GPS, receive photographic and video evidence, and offer real-time contact with police.
Similar apps are used in other global citifies and Tory Assembly Members says introducing one in London would help the Met better handle the 18,000 calls and reports it receives each day.
Report author Tony Arbour AM said:“It’s bonkers that despite smartphones now becoming as common as the lightbulb, you still can’t contact police through something as simple as a mobile app – even though they exist for everything from finding coffee shops to checking the weather.”
Mr Arbour wants the Met and Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to hold a competition to develop the app and for the Met to ensure that all future IT systems “can be easily updated to keep up with technological advancements.”
He added: “I want to get London’s sharpest tech brains on board to build this app for our city. The public is now well and truly digital – it’s time the Met caught up.”
Responding to Mr Arbour’s report, a Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is clear in its ambition to become a world leading digital police force.
“We have started to develop digital channels, which include on-line crime reporting for appropriate crime types and the public already report about 500 crimes a week through this channel.”
The spokesperson added it was important any roll-out of digital crime reporting ensured that “any incidents requiring immediate attention in order to protect the public are identified and responded to and that the systems are secure.”