The general public in Northamptonshire now have the ability to assist the police in identifying ‘people of interest’ from their smart phones using the new Facewatch ID App.
The App has already shown success in London and Surrey following its launch by the Metropolitan and Surrey Police in 2012. (The Metropolitan Police have received over 180 positive IDs in just 6 months, June- Dec 2012)
Facewatch is available free of charge on iPhone, Blackberry and Android smart phones through the relevant application stores and works when a user inputs their postcode into the App. The user will then see a number of CCTV images of individuals uploaded by the Northamptonshire Police CCTV team.
If a member of the public is able to identify an image they then have the option to confidentially upload any information they may have. For ease of use the user is able to narrow down searches by choosing a radius around a specific postcode.
The images, which are uploaded directly by officers onto the app, are ‘people of interest’ – meaning they are sought in connection with an incident or active investigation and the officers would like the public’s help in identifying who they are.
This new development forms part of a wider focus by the Northamptonshire Police on ‘Justice’, where more information relating to crimes will be made available to the public.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds said:
“People can view the images by simply inputting a postcode into the screen and selecting a radius of up to five miles. This will display a number of images of people connected to incidents in their selected area with a function for providing information immediately and confidentially to the police. For me, victims of crime are a top priority. The aim is to keep members of the public and more specifically victims of crime involved in the justice process”.
The faces of Northamptonshire’s most wanted people can still be seen online on the Northamptonshire website in the Most Wanted section. This section allows the police to appeal to the public for information about certain people; officers either want to speak with in connection to an offence or are wanted on a warrant for failing to appear at court or on recall to prison.
The public will also be kept updated with the details of court sentences which will be available to view online.
The Facewatch app will also be available on officers’ BlackBerry phones, so that they can view the images while they are out and about on duty. The images can also be viewed through the police website: WEBSITE:
Superintendent Dave Hill, Head of Organisational Delivery at Northamptonshire Police, said:
“Mobile phone technology, social networking and real-time communications are all a part of modern life. As a Force we recognise that the demand for this must be met with modern day policing.This innovative application is an exciting step towards this for us and will not only help us solve more crime, but will also allow members of the public to play an active part in it.People can view the images, when they like, where they like. And if they recognise someone, they can simply send an immediate response through. In the same way, officers will be able to view this library of pictures when they are out and about allowing for quick identification, and thereby helping to solve more crime in our county”.
“This new ‘people of interest’ section forms part of a wider focus that we have launched, focusing on the justice theme, on our website. We want to inform and involve our communities more in the justice process. This section on our website will provide members of the public with quick and easy access to people we want to identify, people who are wanted as well as good results of people who are now behind bars.”
Facewatch Director, Michael O’Sullivan, said:
“We are extremely pleased that Northamptonshire Police has chosen Facewatch as their partner. Facewatch ID has proven to be highly successful in encouraging the general public to assist the police in solving crime in London with over 100,000 downloads of the app and 8.5 million images viewed in the first five months of use during 2012. We hope the success will be repeated in Northamptonshire.”