Project Eyewatch in Australia is putting crime fighting at people's fingertips.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Project Eyewatch is the world first policing strategy that uses social media to bring the 30-year-old Neighbourhood Watch program into the 21st century, while fighting crime in the process.
Eyewatch project manager Chief Inspector Josh Maxwell said the program was devised in acknowledgement that while people still cared about their community, they no longer had time to attend regular meetings in a community hall.
"But they do have time to jump on line and look at the news feeds from their local police. And while it''s still early days, the program is showing that people are also more prepared to talk to the police online," he said.
"The social networking phenomenon is here to stay, and certainly the NSW Police Force through this project is seeking to harness the power of community through our eyewatch program," he added.
Chief Inspector Maxwell said that eyewatch was a live site through which information was continuously fed, such as incidents of crime, appeals for assistance, crime prevention tips, bushfire, flood and weather warnings, and traffic information.
In turn, the community was encouraged to post information about events and concerns in their area, which helped police develop strategies to address these problems.
NSW Minister for Police Michael Gallacher, a former police officer who helped devise the eyewatch concept, said this exchange of information was the key purpose of the program.
"It''s about communities regaining control and confidence over their local areas and over crime," he said. (ANI)