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Crime-fighting phone app launching on Capitol Hill

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SEATTLE — A cell phone app could be the key to catching criminals preying on people in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Social Outreach Seattle, a local social justice organization, is working with a tech company to help launch UbnAppd.

“It is designed to prevent or detour a crime from happening,” said Carol Jack with UbnAppd.

The new app can record video and audio, which is then sent to iCloud. With the click of a button, the camera starts rolling and, if it is not turned off, it will send the video and a GPS location to a list of emergency contacts listed by the user.

“It is just like having Mace or something else to protect yourself. You want to make sure that your phone is out and you’re ready to press that button,” said Jack.

Over the summer, Seattle police increased patrols in Capitol Hill because of recent crime.

Social Outreach Seattle believes the app can be used to help police track down suspects.

“I think as a last resort it is another safety net to have,” said Shaun Knittle, with Social Outreach Seattle. “You may never have to use it. I hope no one ever has to use it.”

Knittle added it will take a community-wide effort to reduce the crime in Capitol Hill. Last year, his organization started the “No One Walks Alone” campaign, which encourages people to walk in groups or share a cab.

“This neighborhood does not belong to crime. It belongs to us,” said Knittle.

The app is free to download, but the service cost $29.99 a year.

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5 comments

  • ed head

    Seriously? It’s “like MACE”? How so? A person with bad intentions will cower in fear? More likely they will just steal it with your purse or wallet. Perhaps in the land of rainbows where we drink unicorn milk…

  • Jessica Hart

    this is a amazing idea! “Im getting robbed and hes has a gun to my face ill just go hey criminal wait let me pull out my phone and record you….oh wait..

  • Fred

    It is amazing how many people miss the point entirely. Criminals are afraid of being identified, so if you have them on video, why would they start anything? It never says it is going to stop everything.

  • Jolene

    “UBNAPPD IS NOT A SELF-DEFENSE TOOL OR A NOTIFICATION DEVICE TO CONTACT EMERGENCY SERVICE AGENCIES. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO GUARANTEE PERSONAL SAFETY OR REPLACE GOOD JUDGMENT AND COMMON SENSE, AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON WHEN MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT SAFETY OR CRIME PREVENTION.”

    This is straight from their Terms of Service. Sounds like their lawyers protected them even if the app won’t protect you. There are some other gems there if you’d like to take a look. Link below:

    https://www.ubnappd.com/page/tos