Updated: 27/06/2012 13:44 | By pa.press.net

New app can help identify suspects

Police are hoping a new app for smartphones will help them track down thousands of people involved in last summer's riots.


Riots erupted in north London after 29-year-old Mark Duggan was shot dead by police

Riots erupted in north London after 29-year-old Mark Duggan was shot dead by police

Police are hoping a new app for smartphones will help them track down thousands of people involved in last summer's riots.

Facewatch lets phone users sort through around 5,000 photographs by entering a London postcode to focus on a particular area.

People can then confidentially identify someone in an image by clicking on the picture, then entering a name and address.

Scotland Yard has loaded 2,880 images taken from CCTV footage during the disorder on the capital's streets last year, and a further 2,000 pictures of people they want to talk to about low level crimes such as shoplifting or anti-social behaviour, separate from the riots.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, head of specialist crime & operations, said: "This is a great opportunity for the public to help us fight crime and bring those who remain outstanding to justice.

"My hope is that the two-thirds of Londoners who own smartphones will download this app and help us identify people we still need to speak to.

"We need Londoners to browse through the app every week or so as new images will appear regularly. This is a fantastic way for Londoners to help us to fight crime."

Simon Gordon, director of Facewatch, came up with the idea when he was trying to help victims of bag theft at his central London bar.

He said: "We are extremely pleased to be the technology partner behind the Facewatch application and, by working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service team, to help in a small way towards creating a safer and more secure city - especially in such an important year for London."

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