Some clever people at Ideal For All, an independent living organisation for disabled people based in the West Midlands, have created a smartphone app to help people report hate crime incidents to the Police, and have won one of three runner up prizes in this year’s Ordnance Survey GeoVation Challenge, netting them a lovely £25,000.
Matthew Green, project manager, said little hate crime data is currently available, and it is not localised. “We’re trying to provide high resolution data in real time, so local authorities and their partners can see what is happening and do something about it.”
The app is built around the Association of Chief Police Officers’ own specification for the data they need in order to go and investigate an incident and it is cost-effective compared to other models for hate crime reporting with people sitting in buildings, at the end of a phone line, which are much more expensive.
Stage one of the project will use the geolocation and audio and video recording capabilities of smartphone platforms to create evidence and reports, and in a later stage, the project will explore the potential to use Bluetooth connected “panic buttons” to remotely and discreetly trigger audio, video and geolocation recording capabilities to allow for safe real-time gathering of evidence. Ultimately the model could have a wider range of applications.
First prize of £40,000 development funding was won by “Community Payback Visibility”, a mobile app from the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust allowing people to nominate local sites for offenders to work on and keep track of how projects are progressing. Users will be able to send in geo-tagged photos of areas they want to nominate for Community Payback – unpaid work carried out by offenders on community sentences.