Want to know if you’re in a ‘crime hotspot’? There’s a PNP app for that
An online project of the Philippine National Police aims to warn the public if they are entering a crime-prone area in Metro Manila.
The “Bantay Krimen” (Crime Watch) website (www.bantaykrimen.com) and app allow users to view a “crime map” that indicates the number of crimes reported in an area based on PNP data since January.
“When citizens are informed that a particular area is a hotspot for robbery and theft, the normal reaction is to shy away from those places; then they won’t get victimized. I would like to think crimes would be prevented [through the app],” said PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez during the launch on Wednesday.
Bantay Krimen was a joint project between the PNP and a team of developers from the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City.
Downloadable for free, the app also provides contact information on the police and fire stations near a particular area.
It also comes with a crime reporting platform, though this is available only to users authorized by the PNP to serve as “force multipliers,” like barangay officials enrolled into the system.
The restriction is deemed necessary “to prevent pranksters from getting into the system,” according Director Benjamin Magalong, head of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management.
Through a smartphone’s mobile data and GPS functions, the app can alert users when they are entering into a crime hotspot.
At this stage, the crime map will reflect only incidents of robbery and theft (including those of cars and motorcycles). For now, the app is also available only to Android users.
“We will continue to improve and make it accessible to more users,” Marquez said. “We are also focusing first on the major crimes that have impacted the communities in National Capital Region. [Other index crimes] such as murder and homicide will be inputted later in the system.”
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