UK: Crimestoppers, Facewatch and ACPO form strategic partnership

Crimestoppers, Facewatch and the Association of Chief Police officers (ACPO) announced today that they have agreed to work in partnership with a focus on sharing technology and improving the tools available for crime reduction initiatives. [24 October 2012]

Facewatch was founded in March 2010 and is the only police approved system for businesses wishing to simply and quickly report low level crime to the police online. Facewatch crime reporting is a free service to businesses and police and provides an open platform solution and a standard interface between police and the business sector. Currently operating in six of the major UK police forces, the Facewatch system is being adopted across more forces rapidly as its success in reducing costs and assisting in solving crimes is recognised.
Mobile app

Facewatch has also recently launched a highly successful free mobile App, Facewatch ID, for the identification of police issued images by the public using postcode proximity. Images are supplied and uploaded directly by the Police and this is currently available in London and Surrey. The new partnership will start by sharing this technology to enable the public to have the option to pass on crime information anonymously through Crimestoppers.

Michael Laurie, Crimestoppers’ Chief Executive said: “This is an exciting opportunity to further develop Crimestoppers’ range of services for the public in providing them with an anonymous route to pass on information about crime as well as an opportunity to embrace the business community. Facewatch not only gives us access to the very latest database and mobile technology but will also enable us to further empower individuals and communities in the fight against crime.

Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers said: “Crimestoppers is well loved by the public and also provides a great service for law enforcement across the UK. As a charitable organisation it relies on support from donations and help from a wide range of volunteers. The opportunity to gain access to the latest technology through partnering with Facewatch is a great move and one which I applaud and support wholeheartedly. The UK police forces through ACPO will engage fully with both organisations in the fight against crime.”

Simon Gordon, Executive Chairman, Facewatch Ltd added: “The fundamental aim of Facewatch is to reduce low level crime using the very latest internet technology which empowers businesses, the public and the police to work together. I am delighted to be working in partnership with Crimestoppers and ACPO to create a lasting and trusted solution. This new partnership gives us added confidence in our core strategy of building an open system accessible to all those in the private and public sector, enabling them to work together collaboratively to create safer communities.”

Facewatch benefits:

Online crime reporting using any device with an internet browser
Instant crime reference created for insurance purposes
Free immediate cancellation of victims credit and debit cards by CPP’s Card Protection
No special equipment required other than internet access
Works with any existing CCTV system or even without CCTV for reporting only
Upload clips of moving footage to show just the relevant CCTV. No CD’s required.
Automatic paperless witness statements for every incident reported
Perfect for shops, licensed premises, hotels and all CCTV monitored premises
Highly visible deterrent to criminals through branded signage
Instant online image sharing in groups such as Pubwatches, Shopwatches, BIDs, BCRP’s shopping centres, high streets, retail chains and larger retail groups
Strong emphasis on preventing and detecting prolific offenders
Direct link to local Police forces and appropriate officers – Police update the crime status throughout the investigation and can use the system for secure messaging between the business and case officers which remains on the case file
Creation of posters showing images of banned or suspect persons for use by staff
Full statistical analysis with key performance indicators showing Police status and success rates in solving the crimes
Supported by licensing teams and recognised as a positive step in reducing crime
The only system to be accredited by ACPO ‘Secured by Design’.
Victims and businesses updated automatically online with police progress of crime investigation

The Facewatch website can be found at: http://facewatch.co.uk/cms/

Notes to editors: Facewatch

Facewatch is the first online crime reporting and communications system using social media and mobile tools to enable the public, businesses and the police to work together to beat crime.

Facewatch provides a single cloud based resource that enables suspects’ images, moving CCTV evidence and paperless automated witness statements to be uploaded by businesses to the police through one simple interface via any internet connected device. This open system approach gives businesses, the public and the police an open but highly secure platform to enable faster and more effective crime management and communications.

Facewatch has no competitors and is the only system to have been gained the ‘Approved by Design’ status from the Association of Chief Police Officers in the UK. Facewatch was launched in early 2010 and is fully operational in London; it has 2,600 current business users. The system is in the process of being rolled out to all police forces across the UK.

Facewatch launched a mobile phone App (Facewatch ID) in partnership with the MET and BTP in June 2012 to enable the public to identify images of suspects by postcode in the London area. There have been over 100,000 downloads of the App and 8m images viewed already with hundreds of ID’s. The App is now being made available to all Police forces.

A communications portal to enable London Hotels to share security information during the Olympic Games was successfully launched and is now an established resource for the London Hotel community. This will be used as part of the Olympic hub legacy strategy for all sectors.

Trials in London have shown that Facewatch acts as a strong deterrent to low level crime. Police are able to view CCTV evidence instantly and information can be shared between businesses instantly. Police will save hundreds of millions of pounds of wasted administrative time so they can concentrate on catching and prosecuting offenders.

At its heart Facewatch creates online communities that work together to improve our safety and security.

Facewatch continues to develop crime reporting solutions using the most appropriate technology and will be announcing further new products in the UK and the USA.

Notes to editors: ACPO

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is an independent, professionally led strategic body. ACPO leads and coordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need ACPO, on behalf of all chief officers, co-ordinates the strategic policing response. The Association brings together the expertise and experience of chief police officers from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, providing a professional forum to share ideas and best practice, co-ordinate resources and help deliver effective policing which keeps the public safe.

For more information please contact:

Heather Broughton – Communications and Digital Manager, Crimestoppers

E: heather.broughton@crimestoppers-uk.org

T: 020 8835 3726

www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Stuart Greenfield – PR Consultant, Facewatch

E: stuart@greenfield.co.uk

T: 07788 662697 / 0207 930 3225

www.facewatch.co.uk

Source: http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/media-centre/news-releases/2012/crimestoppers-facewatch-and-acpo-form-strategic-partnership