A new scheme has been launched in three towns across the UK, encouraging people to report anti-social behaviour using their mobile camera phones. Harlow in Essex (home town of Mouse2house.co.uk) as well as Bristol and Ipswich have been given the opportunity to test this new way of reporting anti-social behaviour.
Initially residents are being invited to snap photos of graffiti and vandalism using their mobile phones, which can then be sent over the mobile phone network to council officers on 07739 888 558 with the word Harlow, Bristol or Ipswich (depending on which town you are in) followed by details of where the offence has taken place. Once the image/s are received at the council offices they will then be added to the anti-social behaviour database, which is shared across several other organisations. The cost of sending a message is dependent on the person’s mobile phone tariff.
Harlow council joint leader Cllr Chris Millington said: “This new service will help increase people’s involvement in making Harlow a safer, cleaner place to live by expanding the ways in which these crimes are reported to us”. “It’s important to stress,” said the other joint leader, Cllr Kevin Brooks, “that we don’t want people to put themselves at risk by photographing perpetrators as they commit the crime, but photos of damage caused by anti-social behaviour will be useful in monitoring activity and building up evidence”.
According to a police spokesman, the police in Harlow welcome this partnership initiative as it encourages residents to become involved in helping towards the improvement of the environment and local community. If the scheme is proven to be successful in the three towns, it is proposed that the scheme is rolled out across the rest of the country.
This type of scheme demonstrates the changing face of the mobile phone and it’s use. It is no longer just a device for making phone calls, but a mobile device with many uses i.e. photos, video, music, note taking, voice recording etc. Imagine if you are unfortunately involved in a minor motor accident, you would be able to take photographic, video and audio records of the incident details which can later be used as evidence if necessary, no more 3rd parties denying that the accident took place or changing the story of what actually happened!
If you already have one of these great devices, don’t forget the most important part, the memory card to record on to. You can get exactly what you need from www.mouse2house.co.uk, where else!