New PNP mobile app alerts users when entering ?crime hotspots?

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Unlike other mobile apps that tracks free ?Wi-Fi hotspots,? a new app from the Philippine National Police (PNP) warns users against known ?crime hotspots? which they should avoid or leave right away.

A policeman shows the capabilities of the 'Bantay Krimen' mobile app
A policeman shows the capabilities of the ‘Bantay Krimen’ mobile app

The app, named ?Bantay Krimen,? also enables registered users to view crime incidents, call the nearest police station by pressing an icon, and report crimes in real time.

?Bantay Krimen? will initially be made available to users of Android-run devices by downloading the free app from the Google Play Store.

The app was developed by engineers from the University of the Cordilleras in coordination with the PNP-Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management (PNP-DIDM).

PNP chief Ricardo Marquez said the app is a product of the PNP?s ongoing ?Lambat-Sibat? anti-crime drive and will be used first in Metro Manila.

?At the moment, the app is only NCR-wide, but the deployment of the crime map for the country is ongoing. We started focusing first on the major crimes that have impacted the communities at NCR and these would be crimes against property,? Marquez told reporters during the app’s launching held at PNP headquarters in Camp Crame.

The PNP chief said he is confident that if Metro Manila residents would start reporting crime incidents using the app, police response would improved.

?When citizens are informed that a particular area is a hotspot for robbery and theft, the normal reaction is to shy away from the places so you don’t get victimized. But I would also like to think that crimes can also be prevented if people would report the crimes happening in those places,? Marquez said.

Through the GPS capability of smartphones, the app alerts users to take extra caution, particularly with their personal belongings, when entering those so-called crime hotspots.

Those who will report the crimes will remain anonymous and the information given will be kept confidential, Marquez said.

For his part, DIDM director Benjamin Magalong said to prevent pranksters from messing with the reporting system, only registered users would be allowed to send reports to the police. — PNA

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