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RSLPF Launches Crime Hotline App

Acting Deputy Commissioner Dr. Mashama Sealy
Acting Deputy Commissioner Dr. Mashama Sealy

The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has launched a crime hotline app. With this new application, (the first ever for Saint Lucia), the RSLPF is hoping that members of the public will send in tips anonymously as it will assist police in their crimefighting efforts.

RSLPF Crime Hotline App
RSLPF Crime Hotline App

The app which was launched on Tuesday, will be managed by a team of officers, the RSLPF said at a press conference.

“We wanted to provide the public with an alternative method to send in tips anonymously. A few years ago (the Force) developed think tanks in order to examine challenges that existed. Two of the challenges identified were the lack of confidence in police officers and the complaint that officers could not be trusted because information was not kept confidential. A discussion took place and one of the recommendations was that a mobile application be developed,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Dr. Mashama Sealy told reporters this week.

Though groundbreaking, Sealy acknowledged that some individuals might be skeptical to use the app. However, she insisted that “the app does not pull information in terms of the IP address or any type of information like (that). The only information we would have is whether the information comes from an Apple phone or an Android phone and that is mainly because of the two platforms that are being used, but apart from that the app does not pull any other information from your device.”

That includes email addresses and phone numbers, she said.

“The crime hotline app is user friendly and the information we receive will be examined and managed by a team of officers who are vetted and trained to handle sensitive information. Users can therefore provide information regarding incidents of crime using text, photos and voice notes. Remember the app is not to be used to report a crime in progress,” Sealy said, adding that individuals should call the nearest station instead or dial 555 (the crime hot line).

“We encourage everyone to make use of the app… It can be found for now in the Google Play Store and in the next two weeks it will be available in the Apple Store. Users can provide information regarding incidents of crime using text, photos and voice notes,” Sealy stated.

Police Commissioner Cruscita Descartes-Pelius
Police Commissioner Cruscita Descartes-Pelius

Police Commissioner Cruscita Descartes-Pelius, for her part noted that “we can achieve significant strides in our crime fighting efforts… by educating others (on) the purpose of the app (and) how to use the app.”

“The crime hotline app will provide information to persons who have been impacted by crime,” and will assist in crime prevention, Descartes-Pelius said.

“Technology is increasingly used in crime fighting and it enables the police to keep communities, nations and citizens safe. We have seen the use of digital cameras, drones, body cams (and) close circuit television which play a critical role in crime management. We have also seen that crime has become more sophisticated and it is important to make use of technology to deal with the challenges of crime policing and security management,” she added.

According to her, “the impact of information technology is considered to be substantial and is of tremendous assistance to law enforcement in crime fighting.

There is an increased use of technical products and we see both crime and policing co-evolving with technology. Therefore, if we do not make use of technology it will almost be impossible to effectively deal with the scourge of criminal activities.”

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