Soon you may be able to help the Dutch police investigate via a new app
On June 1, 2019, the Dutch police and Public Prosecution Service (OM) will launch an app, allowing civilians who are the victims of theft, to help the police investigate. The app will be trialled for two months in four police regions, namely Rotterdam, the East Netherlands, the Northern Netherlands and East Brabant.
Victims can investigate crimes
120 victims in the areas where the trial is being carried out can use the app “Mijn onderzoek” (My Investigation) to investigate the crime committed against them. The app will guide them step by step, allowing them to upload photos, videos and interviews with witnesses. These are actions that civilians can already undertake.
Following the letter of the law is essential, so that any evidence collected can be used in a court of law. The information that victims collect can help to catch the perpetrator and prosecute them.
This is the first time that the police have opened their doors to civilians who want to help solve crimes, however, a new era calls for a new approach. And the police and the OM have noticed that an increasing number of civilians themselves take action if they fall victim to a crime.
Working with the police
Technical developments, in particular, have made it possible for people to take investigative measures. For example, many people use the “find my phone” function to locate their stolen mobile or turn to Marktplaats to look for their stolen goods. Neighbourhood watches are also active all across the country.
The “Mijn onderzoek” app is thus simply a response to the investigative measures already being undertaken; one which could help in the prosecution of the baddies. One thing that should be made clear is that “it is not the case that we are asking civilians to do our jobs”, expresses Oscar Dros from the police. “We genuinely see it as a form of cooperation”.