A young professional, recently, became a victim of phone snatching in Noida by masked men who were on a numberless motorbike. He wrote an application of theft and submitted it to the nearest police station. They refused to register a case of theft and offered only to register a case of ‘Mobile Lost’. Why? Because they were certain the phone was irretrievable and a failed case would not add up well in their performance report.
This is one of the many cases that affect all of us every day. More than the frustration of being a victim of a crime is the anger of feeling helpless when our voice falls on deaf ears. The most we can do is caution our friends and family members lest something similar happens to them. We are busy citizens and we can only do so much. Even if locals know about sensitive areas in their town, what about travelers and tourists? We can caution our friends and family but who cautions them? Journalists, activists, and reporters bring many criminal cases to us through popular media. But is that the whole story? What about the many crimes that go unreported because either the authorities will not listen to us or we think twice before taking any action?
In India, there is need for a common platform where everybody can share their unfortunate incidents and everybody can exercise safety irrespective of their location, a platform which paints the real picture of crime in our cities and towns, and a platform where citizens come together to fight crime by keeping a check not only on criminal activity around them but also on the responsiveness of law enforcement agencies.
Zerocrime, a social initiative, has come up with such a solution.
Zerocrime leverages an online application to map criminal activity around us through crowd-sourcing. If you have been a victim or a witness to a crime incident, you can easily file an unofficial report on http://www.zerocrime.org by providing simple details such as location, time, date, crime, description, and a short advice for others. A marker of your incident will be placed on the map and residents/travelers can see the details. Over time, Zerocrime will aggregate these reports to create a crime rating index of neighborhoods and areas will be color-coded as per their crime rating. Advanced analytics and longitudinal studies will be conducted to generate meaningful insights for law enforcement agencies and media houses. There are also plans to develop crime prevention tools such as prediction of crime through data analysis.
Users will be able to benefit directly by downloading the Zerocrime mobile application, which will act as a safety guide for them. They will be able to choose crimes that worry them the most (example, eve-teasing/molestation in the case of women living in Delhi) and the application will push alerts on their screen based on their GPS location. It will guide them to the nearest police station or send an SOS call/message to close ones in case of an emergency. Users will also be able to report crimes with Zerocrime using the application.
The Zerocrime team came together in May 2013. All three founders (Mukesh Gupta, Swapnil Jain, and Gautam Garg) are graduates of Delhi College of Engineering (now Delhi Technological University).
“We were working on developing online software solutions for businesses when the inception of Zerocrime happened in the first week of October. We immediately decided to invest some time to this from our daily schedule. We began the development and design of Zerocrime, and launched the beta version of the Zerocrime web application on Oct 21, 2013”, says Swapnil Jain, Co-founder. All three co-founders have been affected by crime at some point. Swapnil and his family were once robbed at gunpoint in Uttar Pradesh.
“Our vision is to ultimately see crime declining in the country. We understand that it’s a long process but we feel Zerocrime is a good start. We hope that through this initiative people, law enforcement agencies, and media houses will be able to see the real picture of the crime that is affecting society and the growth of this nation. We also believe ‘Safety is not an accident’ and through Zerocrime, people can learn to be safe from the experiences of victims and witnesses. But people have a big role to play in this initiative. Reporting crime, officially or unofficially, is the first step”, says Gautam Garg, Co-founder.To go to Zerocrime, visit http://www.zerocrime.org Zerocrime Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/zerocrime Follow Zerocrime @thezerocrime