MMS-witness: citizens can text in pics of criminals

Mobile phones

mmswitness.jpgWaleli, a wireless innovations company, has developed a new system called MMS-witness that allows anyone with a camera on their mobile phone to assist in fighting crime.

It allows the police to easily accept pictures and movies taken by members of the public using mobile phones, and is supposed to increase the chances of a successful arrest by then sending relevant images back to police officers in the locality.

Each European country in which the service is implemented will have its own countrywide phone number which can be used by anyone to send in footage or pictures of a crime, or potential crime. It could also provide valuable witness material.

According to figures from Gartner, almost half of the European population has a camera phone, with their use in a social setting being an everyday occurrence.

The system is already being trialled with the Dutch police force. In its initial stage, MMS-witness allows the police to capture pictures of crimes, evidence and situational environments. These pictures are taken by police officers themselves, and used within normal routines to provide additional supporting information.

Of course, not everyone will want to get their mobile phone out and start filming crime scenes, but it could be an interesting use of consumer technology in the ongoing fight against crime.


Andy Merrett
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