New Facewatch app targets mobile phone theft

Facewatch, as a direct response to the increasing public frustration at the amount of mobile phone thefts, have announced that they are launching a personal theft reporting app that will effectively be a public version of their already hugely successful online system for reporting business crimes.

This new app allows the public to report the personal theft of valuables via their mobile phones and the app will also provide an instant insurance crime reference as well as the option of cancelling all card free of charge with just one call. The also app enables a phone theft victim to report the crime using a phone belonging to a friend or third party.

Information will be instantly available to the relevant police force via the Facewatch system and if there is CCTV available the victim will be able to provide the details of the premises or CCTV owner who will be emailed automatically and encouraged to upload the relevant evidential CCTV footage, so saving many hours of police time.  Importantly for the victim, they will automatically be kept informed of police progress in solving the crime.

The new App will enable pre registration by users.  They will also be able to upload photographs and other detailed information about an incident to help increase the chances of a successful outcome. An important feature will be the ability to geo-tag the information, ensuring that reports are sent to the correct Police force.

This announcement follows the launch on 26th June 2012 of the hugely successful Facewatch ID App which is currently available in London and Surrey with more forces to follow shortly.  The App attracted over 100,000 downloads and 8.5m image views in the first 5 months, being the fourth most downloaded Iphone App in the UK immediately following launch.  Facewatch ID is a free App which the public can download to view images in their postcode vicinity of people the Police have authorised for public display and would like to identify.

The Facewatch system is currently in use in by nine police forces areas across the UK and more than 6,000 business premises are registered or committed to register on the system.  The basic system is free for businesses and the Police, with premium versions which include sophisticated tools for Business Crime Partnerships and Corporates.

The engine behind the App will use the already established and successful Facewatch Business Crime reporting system which enables businesses to upload CCTV images, photographs, witness statements and other details of low level crimes that occur in their retail or licensed premises directly to the Police. The system has been proven in trials in London Victoria during 2011 to provide a 72% improvement in solving low level crime when using Facewatch to report the crime.  Each Facewatch reported incident also led to a 2 hour saving of police time.

Simon Gordon, Executive Chairman, Facewatch Ltd commented, “Opening up the Facewatch reporting technology to the public is a logical step in our development of tools to help reduce low level crime and make communities safer.  This will provide a service that is perfectly suited for use via a smart phone. Geo tagging and the ability to upload images means information will reach the police faster than ever before and this will lead to more convictions and provide a further deterrent to pickpockets and bag snatchers”.


Facewatch was founded in March 2010 and is the only police approved system for businesses wishing to simply and quickly report low level crime to the police online.  Facewatch crime reporting is a free service to businesses and police and provides an open platform solution and a standard interface between police and the business sector. Currently operating in six of the major UK police forces, the Facewatch system is being adopted across more forces rapidly as its success in reducing costs and assisting in solving crimes is recognised.

Facewatch has also recently launched a highly successful free mobile App, Facewatch ID, for the identification of police issued images by the public using postcode proximity. Images are supplied and uploaded directly by the Police and this is currently available in London and Surrey.

Facewatch benefits:

Online crime reporting using any device with an internet browser
Instant crime reference created for insurance purposes
Free immediate cancellation of victims credit and debit cards
No special equipment required other than internet access
Works with any existing CCTV system or even without CCTV for reporting only
Upload clips of moving footage to show just the relevant CCTV.  No CD’s required.
Automatic paperless witness statements for every incident reported
Perfect for shops, licensed premises, hotels and all CCTV monitored premises
Highly visible deterrent to criminals through branded signage
Instant online image sharing in groups such as Pubwatches, Shopwatches, BIDs, BCRP’s shopping centres, high streets, retail chains and larger retail groups
Strong emphasis on preventing and detecting prolific offenders
Direct link to local Police forces and appropriate officers – Police update the crime status throughout the investigation and can use the system for secure messaging between the business and case officers which remains on the case file
Creation of posters showing images of banned or suspect persons for use by staff
Full statistical analysis with key performance indicators showing Police status and success rates in solving the crimes
Supported by licensing teams and recognised as a positive step in reducing crime
The only system to be accredited by ACPO ‘Secured by Design’.
Victims and businesses updated automatically online with police progress of crime investigation