Crime-fighting phone app launching on Capitol Hill
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.