News Local

Surrey cops launching crime reporting app

By Stefania Seccia

FOTOLIA

FOTOLIA

Surrey police want to modernize how residents can access services and information by developing a mobile app and possibly connecting it to an established city app.

While the City of Surrey has launched its MySurrey App for smartphones, another component being developed is a police app to “facilitate community engagement and mobilization functionality,” according to a city staff report.

The app could include crime reporting, crime mapping, crime prevention tips, news alerts and social media feeds, but it’s in the early stages.

Surrey RCMP have watched how people access their own website has dramatically changed with the shift to smartphones and tablets. In 2010, more than 95% of detachment website traffic was from a desktop computer, but now mobile devices and tablets account for at least 50% of website visits.

Mobile devices accounted for 63% of 911 calls received last year, which is why NextGen 911 will include text message reporting capability to reflect the trend, according to the Surrey staff report.

“Policing is changing, and as the environment continues to become more complex, police must respond with new strategies to enhance police service delivery and collaborative crime reductions efforts,” the report states. “With the increased reliance on and use of mobile technologies by the public, many police agencies are turning to mobile applications to help safeguard the community and assist public safety officials with community outreach, engagement and mobilization,” states the report.