“I think you need to get into Suspicious Activity Full Bore. There are 10x the amount of suspicious activities and people want to help stop crime before it happens. Stopping crime before it happens empowers the community and gives them a sense of control. Have an icon or something that alerts people of a post instead of a photo. It stays up for 30 minutes. If 2 people see it then keep it up for 30 more minutes. If 3 people see it keep it up longer. If the Police Operations Centre see this kind of activity and confirmation they are likely to send a police cruiser by and ‘harden’ the environment. Together everyone can deal with trouble before crime happens.”
Our Board of Advisor member Tom outlining the draft design of the Suspicious Activity concept. Tom is a 30 year veteran of the police service.
Since Tom sketched out the initial design for Suspicious Activity we’ve made a few adjustments
- We changed the alert from an icon he envisioned to a blurred photo
- We changed the time span to 24 hours for the first alert (for now)
- We gave the ability for local Administrators to Decline or Accept the original post and every single input
Privacy Laws in Canada make it illegal to capture images or footage of a person on public property. BUT it is not a breach of privacy to alert the community of an illegal act using photos, videos or descriptions of the crime.
Liability laws protect innocent people’s reputation’s from being ruined by a false accusation.
“One of our first cases was a man walking on a deck looking around nervously, ringing the doorbell, and in about 20 seconds, walking off the property continuing to look around like he was planning to come back for a theft. The homeowner didn’t like it and posted the video. It turned out this was a driveway contractor working down the street. He was naturally nervous as he wasn’t used to sales and knocking on people’s doors. People who knew the contractor posted that information shortly before the post was taken down. This man’s identity should never have been made public. Even for 30 minutes it is too long as the man was 100% innocent and should not have had his image put on a site focused on theft and crime.“
Posts stay up for 24 Hours
We found 2 things with shorter posts. In short we are dealing with people’s habits and eventually the time of the post may decrease.
First a lot of people are just getting used to using Lightcatch. Having the post dissappear in 30 minutes was so quick many never even knew what happened.
Second, there are some people who are great volunteers but they use chat and social media in batches. That is they only check at night or first thing in the morning.
Everyone has a different opinion of suspicious - This is why we rely on 2-3 witnesses to help verify this is truly a suspicious activity that can be confirmed. The local community can volunteer people to be a CrowdAdmin and help guide community input in a safe legal way.
If an activity crossed the line into illegal -(Checking doors at first is suspicious. But then opening doors and going into a vehicle in someone's driveway is illegal. All posts should then be Approved and the photos unblurred for easier identification by the community.