Shayan Pahlevani had been robbed several times in Washington, D.C., but after being held up at gunpoint once, he decided to create a better way to report these crimes -- discretely -- to the authorities.
Forbes reports that Pahlevani created CrimePush, a free smartphone app for Android and iPhone released on Wednesday, to give those witnessing or involved in a crime or emergency situation situation the ability to alert authorities with the push of a button:
“There are often tense situations when calling the police is not an option. There are other times when inconvenience or fear of reprisal prevents one from reporting an incident,” explains co-founder Eman Pahlevani. “Featuring the ability to take a photo, record video and audio, and provide a description of the incident, citizens can now be assured that their phone has the capability to alert family, friends, and the authorities at the push of a button, should a threat arise.”
The application would be especially useful for high school and college students, who often find themselves walking back from class late at night, or the victim of hazing, bullying, or drug use. What is key about CrimePush.com is that it empowers the average citizen, ordinary bystanders, to report crime instead ofignoring it. Imagine
Pahlevani tells us to take a moment to think about the number of crimes that go unreported. “Often people are witness to crimes, such as sexual assault and robbery, but do not take the time or effort to call the police. There are other times when personal security is at stake and there is no discreet method of alert,” Pahlevani explains. “Opening a new channel via a mobile application, youth populations will be more motivated to provide crime tips and informants will have better tools utilizing a phone’s built-in technology to capture audio, image, or video evidence.”
The app, which allows users to select a specific emergency to report, pinpoints where the event is happening using GPS location. Buttons for emergency reporting include theft, threat, altercation, sexual abuse, medical, vandalism, drugs and harassment.
According to WJLA, a DC local news network, the app already has more than 10,000 downloads.
Watch the WJLA report:
Currently, the app isn't as fast at alerting authorities as calling 9-1-1, but developers are working on improvements.
Andy Blumenthal, division chief at the U.S. Department of State, writes on his blog that he has heard the developers are also looking into capability improve ease of use, such as shaking the phone to activate the app, allowing for faster more discrete reporting.