DURHAM, N.H. – A new mobile phone application developed for the University of New Hampshire by a UNH School of Law student aims to help fight crime with technology.
Third-year law student Eman Pahlevani developed the smartphone app CrimePush with his brother, Shyan, and friend Samier Mansur, after Shyan was the victim of a robbery in Washington, D.C.
A special version of CrimePush has been developed for UNH’s Durham campus. It can be downloaded at iTunes and the Google Android store.
Smartphone users who download the free app can report a crime simply by clicking an icon on their mobile device. Photos, videos and audio recordings of the crime can be sent as well. Within seconds of hitting “send” the information is received by the authorities with the same speed or less that a dispatcher receives a telephone call. A built-in GPS immediately identifies the sender’s location.
“We are changing the way people report crime,” Pahlevani says. "People witness crimes all the time and don't help, but with this app, people can now send quick reports full of evidence and information to police with the simple push of a button."
In the three months since it became available, hundreds of police departments and universities have contacted CrimePush about using the app.
The app offers a menu of icons: theft, threat, or altercation, sexual abuse, medical emergency, accident, vandalism, drugs or harassment. After choosing the crime to report, users are then taken to a screen where a text message can be added, along with the option of including images.
“The UNH police are excited to be the first campus law enforcement agency to use CrimePush as part of our overall community policing initiative. The CrimePush app for Apple and Android phones provides community members an anonymous means to report crime directly to the police,” says Paul H. Dean, UNH chief of police and executive director of public safety. “Many times bystanders are fearful to call the police. This app allows for reporting by text message and has the option to include a picture or video. I believe the use of technology will serve as a force multiplier and allow a more efficient use of our law enforcement resources.”
Pahlevani, 25, is a member of UNH Law’s Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program. He calls the UNH School of Law instrumental in helping him launch the app and navigate business and intellectual property rights issues.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.