Police commissioner Adam Simmonds has asked for the public’s help to track the county’s ‘most wanted’ criminals.
Mr Simmonds has revealed how a section of his new “justice plan” includes a chance for the public to use their mobile phones to help detectives catch criminals.
A new phone application, which has been developed by Facewatch, a company who have innovated online crime reporting, allows users to put in a postcode and then view images of people of interest to the police from that area.
They can then provide information to officer to help identify the people.
The website also has a “behind bars”, section aimed at keeping the public informed of people sentenced in court, as well as a “most wanted” section.
Northamptonshire Police already had a most wanted section of its website, but detectives say the relaunch is part of a “wider” drive to involve the public.
Mr Simmonds said: “People can view the images by simply inputting a postcode into the screen and selecting a radius of up to five miles. This will display a number of images of people connected to incidents in their selected area with a function for providing information immediately and confidentially to the police.’
“For me, victims of crime are a top priority. The aim is to keep members of the public and more specifically victims of crime involved in the justice process.
Superintendent Dave Hill of Northamptonshire Police added, “Mobile phone technology, social networking and real-time communications are all a part of modern life. As a force we recognise that the demand for this must be met with modern day policing.
“This innovative app is an exciting step towards this for us and will not only help us solve more crime, but will also allow members of the public to play an active part in it.
“The app is also on officers’ phones, meaning they will be able to view this library of pictures when they are out and about allowing a quick ID.”
The Facewatch app works across all smart phones with internet connection and is free to download from the Apple App Store, Android Google Play and BlackBerry App World.
It is also available through the police website at http://www.northants.police.uk/justice and the Facewatch website at www.facewatchid.co.uk