Thursday, June 28, 2007

Post a Crime Online

In exactly the same fashion of Chicago's Crime Database, a community powered site integrating crime reports on Google Maps, aims to empower police officers with citizen submitted crimes in progress :

"POSTACRIME.COM is a free service for anyone to upload photo or video content of burglary, theft, vandalism, or other criminal acts that have been caught on camera for the purpose of identification by the public. Often times Law Enforcement is unable to apprehend criminals, even if with the best video evidence, because no one is able to identify the criminal caught on camera. POSTACRIME.COM hopes to change that."

If the site reaches YouTube's popularity by disintermediating police forces ongoing intestigative efforts, it could also act as an early warning system for the criminals themselves, especially to change areas of operation. The site is pitching itself as the World's Largest Crime Prevention Network, a bold vision despite that I find it as an informediary categorizing user submitted crimes and hoping the publicity will help identify and criminal and hopefully restore the stolen goods -- you wish. You cannot prevent crime Web 2.0 style at least not in this way, you can aggregate publicly available crime data and present a (heat) map of a certain location based on a specific time for trends analysis.