A new app from the NYPD will show you exactly how many acts of lewdness were reported on your subway line this morning. The New York Police Department has gone mobile with an iPhone app that allows the public to view wanted lists, crime statistics, breaking news, and wanted rewards. The new tool even lets the public submit crime tips directly from their mobile device.
The incredibly easy-to-use app, which was first reported by the New York Daily News, was quietly unveiled at the end of 2012. In addition to providing up-to-date crime information for safety-conscious New Yorkers, the app also provides contact information for each police precinct, precinct boundary locations, and information about how the good people of Gotham can join the NYPD.
The app is free and but has only been downloaded by a couple hundred users so far, an NYPD official told the Daily News. An Android version is expected to be released later this year.
The NYPD's new tool isn't perfect. For example, the app does not break down breaking news by precinct. When I tried to find out about breaking crimes in my neighborhood, I had to scroll through a series of crimes in Queens, a missing person in the Bronx, and much more before discovering the sad news about a shooting in my neighborhood. The crime stats and precinct boundaries are all readily available public information, but the app does include the breaking news bulletins crime reporters often receive from the NYPD.
Having all this information in the palm of my hand has already made me a bit obsessive, which I guess could theoretically help stop crime. On the flip side, paranoid New Yorker that I am, viewing the app has made me scared to ever ride the train again after reading about how much lewdness and forcible touching incidents were reported this morning. For crime buffs and citizens just looking to help out, though, this has the potential to be an incredibly valuable tool.