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Mid adult man text messaging while walking along pavementReal-time crowdsourcing of data on crime (incidence, degree and nature) helps create large databases that can be used to identify areas meriting greater security. Through social media, citizens play a greater role in calling attention to specific issues and identifying and tracking down perpetrators.

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The London Metropolitan Police, during the 2011 riots, crowdsourced the identities of 2,880 suspects using a smartphone application. The police asked citizens to download the Face Watch ID app and help identify the persons through images taken from CCTV footage. If an image was known to them, citizens entered the name or address of the person, which was sent to the police immediately and confidentially.

Source: “Gov on the go: Boosting public sector productivity by going mobile,” Deloitte University Press,