Alas, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has taken another dive into the technological world, allowing citizens to connect with them through an app, now available for smart devices. Now, it is progress, as one of the major hurdles in policing is getting information from the public that can lead to proper intelligence, possible arrests, and convictions thereafter. It will also allow citizens to become more involved in fighting crime, while also being safe.
We live in such a small society, where someone knows someone who knows you, and vice versa. So, naturally, due to the culture, we’ve been too afraid to say what we see, due to fear of reprisal. Crime Stoppers, the anonymous hotline has been in place for a long time and we’re guessing that it is effective to a point. But there are cynics among us, who believe the phone is tapped and that calls can be traced. Given the hundreds of murders and hundreds of other serious crimes reported every year, it’s not easy to pass information on. And the justice system…well that’s a topic for another editorial.
Now that this app is available, the TTPS can connect to a large number of the population once they download it, as they assure it’s anonymous, meaning no user data will be kept, and information will be dealt with by only the officers assigned to it. With a lot of the youth now on their phones 24/7 we see this as a step up in hopefully capturing more pertinent information from those who live within the walls of crime, or who spot illegality in its raw form.
Photos, videos and messages can be sent anonymously they say, which could help the TTPS tremendously as they seek to reduce crime and put the fear back into the heads of criminals and potential criminals. Prior to the app, we had the WhatsApp connection to the Police Commissioner, which was the first technological step in the crime fight. For us, the law-abiding citizens who wish for something to be done, this may be a big help.
We encourage you to use the app and get the information to where it needs to be, that’s how we’re going to overcome this negative cloud and underground criminal culture. At least, we think it’s one giant move in that direction.