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Surrey Police launch suspect identification app

The Surrey Police have launched a mobile phone application that allows members of the public to help identify suspects at the touch of a button.

Facewatch has been launched following the success of 2011’s Surrey Police ‘Beat’ application. Officers hope it will help identify people caught on camera who may be responsible for a crime or be able to help with an active investigation.

Detective inspector Mark Parry said of Facewatch: “Surrey Police is already known as an innovative Force and the launch of Facewatch in the county is a very exciting step in the use of smartphone technology.

“The Force recognises the importance of new technology and the constantly expanding world of social media to help us meet both the demands of modern day policing and the demand of the public.

“Residents, who are ever busy and more mobile, are able to access the service in the comfort of their own home, on the daily commute or at their leisure, and at a time of stretched police budgets, this application offers a simple and cost effective way of helping us engage with them.

“The application works so well because of its simplicity, allowing users to anonymously identify suspects involved in crimes such as shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.”

Facewatch is free of charge and available across the iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphone platforms.

Users will input their postcode into the application’s front screen before being presented with a number of CCTV images connected to crimes in their area. There is a function that allows users to provide information anonymously to their local police force.

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