New crime-fighting app rolled out to help keep businesses and shoppers safe in South Shields town centre
A new crime-fighting app has been rolled out in South Shields town centre, with police hoping to get local businesses involved.
Northumbria Police aim to use the Disc app to improve communication between neighbourhood officers, key town locations and businesses about repeat offenders or missing people.
After a wait for final funding to be put in place for a trial in South Shields, police have confirmed the app is now “up and running.”
“We now have the Disc app up and running, which is essentially a communication tool between ourselves and a group of users down the town centre,” said Dave Stobbs, Acting Neighbourhood Inspector for South Shields.
“We’re in the process of building that and slowly adding various users to build it up from the ground upwards and to start communicating information out to the shops and pubs and local authority partners.”
The acting inspector was speaking at a Riverside Community Area Forum (CAF) meeting on Tuesday, June 1, which was held at South Shields town hall.
The “initial small dedicated cohort of users” aimed to cover supermarkets, the council’s CCTV control room and the Nexus Interchange, so police and partners could manage how it worked, with more businesses expected to sign up to the app in future.
Schemes such as Pubwatch and Shopwatch are also expected to be involved, with developers behind the app claiming it can help communities and businesses ‘self-manage’ low-level crime.
Disc has already been rolled out in other areas such as Sheffield, where it has allowed police, businesses and the local community to pool intelligence and tackle antisocial behaviour.
The company behind the software call it a ‘game-changer’ which allows police forces to deliver more effective, joined-up community policing, and as well as offer more support, ‘more efficiently, and securely than ever before’.
The software firm said it had continued to see growth through the pandemic, with more areas coming on board with the Disc app, which could also be used to manage covid restrictions, allowing police and businesses to keep track of individuals who repeatedly flout the rules.