Police forces are constantly seeking to use new technology to solve crimes. The rapid development of apps has changed the way offenses are reported. In Texas, for example a new crime fighting app has been unveiled.
Federal investigators launching a new crime-fighting tool called Report earlier this year in San Antonio. They are hopeful it will lead to more tips from the public.
The free smartphone app can be used by people to report anything suspicious.
According to Fox 29, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is hopeful the app will lead to leads in high-profile cases such as the January 28 mosque fire in Victoria in Texas. While investigators do not believe the mosque burning was a hate crime, they have said it appears to have been arson. The crime remained unsolved months afterwards.
The ATF explained how to use the Report app in the report. Users can download the app and type ATF into the search box.
The app guides the user through specific details that the feds believe are important to report.
ATF resident agent in charge David Robison said:
“The app guides you through specific details that would be important for us to follow up on. The details include who, what, where and when.”
Robison said the reporting technology is anonymous. He said people who have witnessed serious crimes like bombings and arsons are often nervous to come forward because they think they will be revealed as the source of the information.
The Crime Fighting App and Other New Technologies to Combat Crime
A crime fighting app is not the only piece of new technology to revolutionize detective work in recent years.
A GovTech article last year revealed how police have embraced a wide range of technologies, many of them linked to mobile devices.
Technologies being rapidly adopted include in-car computers, body cameras, license plate readers, technology for facial recognition, and even mobile consoles for fingerprint reading.
The rapid advance of these technologies concern some civil liberties groups.
They fear the privacy rights of citizens and defendants could be endangered by the rapid advance of technology.
Jennifer Lynch of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation said:
“One of my biggest concerns is that mobile technologies can be used to gather info about people in ways that violate their Fourth Amendment rights.”
As Austin criminal defense lawyers, we are always concerned about Fourth Amendment rights. You can find out more about the Fourth Amendment here.
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