A new free app being developed by police in the Bijlmermeer, Gaasperdam and Boven IJ areas of Amsterdam will allow nosey bystanders to see what is going on behind the crime scene tape.
The police tape used to cordon off crime scenes will contain a QR code that onlookers can scan and then peruse the vicinity via the app. The police departments in those Amsterdam Zuidoost and Noord neighbourhoods have used their social feeds – including Facebook and Instagram – to spread the word about the app that will let them know what’s happening in their streets.
‘Many people wonder what happens when they see police on the street or in the vicinity,’ reads the Facebook page of the Politie Basisteam Boven IJ. ‘Through this app you can see exactly which important incidents have happened in your street or neighbourhood.’
The departments have also been conducting surveys, asking residents what push messages they want to receive and what kind of information they want from police regarding alleged perpetrators. Police say they have incorporated the answers into the app’s design. Now they are asking people what ‘anonymous’ means to them.
Anyone who scans the QR code from the ribbon must leave his or her details in order to report as a possible witness or as someone who needs victim assistance. But in a nod to anonymity, only an email address is sufficient for registration.
The Bijlmermeer police noted on an earlier Instagram post that it had heard survey respondents who said they find it difficult to contact police. ‘In a previous investigation you, the citizen, indicated that you need an accessible and simple way of contacting the police,’ they wrote in the survey.
A trial date for the Amsterdam app has not been released.
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