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Cleveland launches tender for crime reporting phone app

System needs to able to work across different operating systems and enable users to upload video and pictures.

Cleveland has put out to tender a £50,000 contract to create a mobile app for crime reporting and sharing information with residents.

The specification includes being able to work across different operating systems and enabling users to upload video and pictures. It must also be compatible with existing police systems.

Cleveland wants the app to go live at the end of January next year.

According to the force, the tender document has been created “so we could really test the market and see how creative applicants could be with their designs”.

The force’s Police and Crime Commissioner, who is leading the procurement exercise, also made clear that it will not be used to replace 999 calls.

Steve Turner said: “We envisage the app being used for notifying us of issues, complaints or highlighting community concerns, as well as Cleveland Police being able to engage and gather feedback from the range of diverse groups across the county. 

“Any information entered into the app would not elicit a Police crime response, so we would want to clearly signpost people to the appropriate channels for reporting a crime.”

Opportunities to use the tool will be considered across force processes to identify where benefits can be achieved efficiently including where data can be reused across force systems minimising manual processing or additional workload. 

Cleveland said: “Currently in terms of reporting information there are two main channels to the Police: telephone, through the 999 emergency number and 101 non emergency and the Cleveland Police website.

“Wider engagement work also takes place mainly through Local Policing teams and the force are always seeking ways by which they can keep the public and victims updated about what’s happening in their area or providing updates on crime. 

"Being able to do this efficiently and across all diverse communities would provide opportunity for building confidence and value for money.”

Police Scotland yesterday revealed its officers are now using the Unseen App hosted by the UK’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline.

The app has been downloaded to officers’ mobile devices to support them when they suspect someone may be a victim of trafficking or exploitation. It helps them spot the signs of different types of exploitation which ensures the correct support and welfare provisions are put in place for victims.

Access to the app will provide officers with additional assurance should they need it in the course of their duties.

Andrew Wallis, Unseen CEO said: "Unseen shares the data and insights it gathers from the app, and the UK’s Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline, with governments, businesses, other anti-slavery organisations and, of course, police forces across the UK.

“This data helps inform anti-slavery initiatives and policy, ensuring our collective response to the issue is as professional and effective as possible.”

The College of Policing backed Cleveland’s project and revealed it is following progress as part of work to boost innovation.  

It said: “We are working on how to involve more people in the design, scaling and sharing of innovative ideas. We're excited to see how this develops.”

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