‘Citizens increasingly capture what is happening around them on video, generating potential evidence of crimes... Police forces must follow the example of banks and retailers and do more to connect with citizens who increasingly live their lives on line.’
– Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary, 2016
Across the country, citizens are already using smartphone technology to report crime, and send photo and video evidence to the police for free.
This Report looks at the experiences of victims and witnesses who have used the Self Evident app to help the police tackle child abuse, domestic violence, terrorism and other crimes.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson welcomes the launch of the latest build of the Self Evident app (16 October 2015) as it will increase reporting, boost confidence, reduce repeat offending and strengthen support for victims.
The new build
- enables repeat, disabled and vulnerable victims to identify themselves to the police
- categorises types of hate crime
- provides improved accessibility, and
- ensures victims of hate crime in London & Sussex who do not wish to report the incident to the police can log it confidentially and also access specialist help.
Smart-phone apps are revolutionising consumer behaviour. Their potential for reducing crime and the fear of crime is considerable, though so far not sufficiently recognised. This report looks at how they can play a big part in making it easier for people to report crimes and in enabling the police and courts to provide a better experience for victims and witnesses. By giving people a degree of control over their involvement and ownership over their evidence, apps can influence attitudes across the Criminal Justice System and help it develop as a Service that is for, and is supported as such by, the public.
Evidence Lost reviews the key research on witness experiences and satisfaction and considers how this impacts on public confidence in the police and the courts. It also questions how policy initiatives to put victims and witness can be at the heart of the system can work in practice, if public funds ensure lawyers represent defendants and the police but make no provision for anyone to speak up for victims and witnesses.
We make practical recommendations which - at no additional cost to public funds - will make our streets safer and restore confidence in the police, the justice system and our sense of community.