Use SMS Text Messaging to Stop Crime in India

The SMS text messaging has gained too much popularity among the Indian youth. If you need to inform someone about an event, you prefer to send an SMS rather than calling them up. SMS stands between  telephone and email services.

Many of us do not always want to call the police telephone number 100 or crime stopper 1090 even if you happened to see a serious crime happening round the corner. When calling in an police station, you might be inquired about your whereabouts first rather than listening into the issue. This may not be true for all stations though, at least people think so. Such things keep citizen away from informing the police of crimes in the neighbourhood.

Nowadays police have kept complaint boxes in the city (at least in Thiruvananthapuram that I know of) in association with residents’ associations, where citizens can put their anonymous written complaints. This is not real time though, and you don’t know whether this works!

The younger generation is very much open to SMSing their tips rather than calling a telephone hotline or writing down it in a paper and looking around to find a box.

It would have been great, if we had a Toll Free SMS Short Code which works across India from all mobile operators to inform any crime activities that needs police attention. The SMS should be anonymized and delivered to the nearest police station or control room. The control room can then dispatch the message to the highway patrol or other mobile squads in that area. This would work for report accidents needing immediate attention of the police too.


Of course, the Police department will have an argument that, the SMS facility will be misused to send false and misleading information. But, even without this SMS functionality, the police are getting enough misleading calls, why to blame the technology! Compared to the positives this can bringing, negatives are negligible.

Police Departments in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and Cincinnati, and many other cities in the US have started to adopt SMS text messaging systems and latest mobile technology to inform police on the latest criminal activities in the neighbourhood.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has launched an anonymous SMS text messaging tipline, which can be used by the citizens to send SMS text messages to tip off the police to suspicious activity in the neighbourhood.

The text messages are anonymized through a third-party application provider to ensure that the tipster’s identity never becomes known to LAPD. The third party receives the text message, anonymizes it, and then sends the tip to the LAPD.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is using camera phone (and any other camera or video camera) technology in their fight against wrong-doers in the New York City. The NYPD requests its citizen to send in pictures and videos of any criminal actions. [via intomobile]

Crime Stoppers groups in United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Malaysia are launching text-messaging programs that will allow cellphone users to make anonymous tips for the younger generation. As far as I know, there is no such service avaiable in any of the Indian cities yet.

How does police department use the technology in your city to stop crime? Have you ever called and reported any crime to the police control room (100) or crime stopper cell (1090)?

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