It gives new meaning to the concept "community policing." The explosion of smartphones is allowing people to fight crime from their pocket, wherever they may be. We take a look at five crime-fighting apps from around the world:
ITALY: STANDING UP TO THE MAFIA
Addiopizzo, a citizen's organization founded a decade ago on the Italian island of Sicily to combat Mafia extortion, recently launched two apps to carry its mission against organized crime into the digital age, the Italian regional newspaper Giornale di Sicilia reports. The organization certifies businesses that refuse to pay the pizzo, the protection money demanded by the Mafia. Mostly active in the Sicilian capital of Palermo and Catania, the island's second-largest city, one of Addiopizzo's new apps help users locate certified restaurants, cafes and other businesses in the area, while the other is a travel app geared towards tourists who want to book a Mafia-free holiday.
[rebelmouse-image 27089195 alt="""" original_size="1024x683" expand=1]
Protest against Sicilian mafia — Photo: Valentina Mignano
ALBANIA: CITIZEN POLICE
Kosovo-based tech blog Digjitale reports that the Albanian police have gone digital, unveiling an Android app called "Digital Police Station." The app acts as a virtual police station, where citizens can report crimes anonymously and access a public list of ongoing police investigations to receive updates. The app was developed in partnership with the telecommunications company Vodafone, and will provide a 24/7 service for citizens seeking to contact the police. It is part of a wider series of police reforms recently instituted by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, elected in 2013.
[rebelmouse-image 27089196 alt="""" original_size="800x600" expand=1]
Albanian police — Photo: Flogert Dollani