Case Studies

Crowdsourced convictions in London

The 2011 riots in London were an incredibly chaotic time. There were more than 20,000 emergency calls to police, a 400 percent increase from a normal day; and almost 2,200 calls to the London Fire Brigade, which is 15 times the normal amount.

To help catch those involved, the London Metropolitan Police crowdsourced the identities of 2,880 suspects using a smartphone application. The police asked citizens to download the Face Watch ID app and help identify the persons through images taken from CCTV footage. If an image was known to them, citizens entered the name or address of the person, which was sent to the police immediately and confidentially. This enabled the police to effectively apprehend suspects and led to charges being filed against 1,000 perpetrators.

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