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'Shoutcrime' - Hate Crime Reporting App launches

Shout-Crime-beta-4a-300x211Shout Crime is a web application that has been created to provide a simple and effective reporting tool for individuals who are the victims or witnesses of hate crime. It is a development by Ideal for All independent living centre, Sandwell with funding from Ordinance Survey.

Shout Crime can be accessed simply and easily via any browser on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or other mobile device.

The easy to understand menu provides 3 simple steps to report a hate crime in a safe and anonymous environment. If you wish to receive confirmation of the report you can enter a valid email address. Shout Crime reports made via a mobile phone provide the option to upload media files such as pictures, video or audio recordings of the crime.

A map showing incidence for a geographic location can be viewed together with statistics showing monthly trends for hate crime reporting on Shout Crime. Additional features are available for organisations requiring access to detailed reports.

Hate crime is one area of the criminal justice system that, evidence shows, often goes unreported. Recognising the negative impact that hate crime can have on individuals and communities,  Ideal for All decided to use its experience and resources to make a real difference. Drawing on the passion of one of its User Groups, a project was conceived to develop a new, flexible and accessible reporting system for hate crime. an application that would provide  a crime reporting mechanism for individuals and a visual analysis tool for communities and agencies alike. Recognising the strength of commitment and the technical integrity of the project, Ordinance Survey decided to back the concept and awarded IFA  £25,000 to develop the first application for both desktop and mobile technologies.

Building on the excitement of receiving the award, Ideal for All  engaged DevelopmentKeys as Project Managers for delivering the new app. Setting about the detailed definition of the project that is ‘Shout Crime’, our newly formed Steering Team, including experts in the field of Information Technology, crime reporting and community engagement, was supplemented with specific skill sets around the delivery of successful web enabled applications. An Invitation To Tender was issued toward the end of 2012 with an aggressive set of requirements for delivery of the Shout Crime application by the end of Quarter 1 2013. The New Year saw the development contract awarded to BoilerHouse Media, Birmingham and the project was up and running.

As a co-creation project, with a clear emphasis on accessibility, involvement of the User Group in the development of the application has been essential, including review and testing of visual concepts and prototype releases for both desktop and mobile technologies. The development team at BoilerHouse Media, headed up by Vicky Sargent, Client Services Director, have proved to be an excellent partner for the team at IFA in their ability to work with such a diverse group of stakeholders. Consolidating a complex set of inputs and requirements, March saw BoilerHouse Media successfully deliver the first fully functional prototypes of the ‘Shout Crime’ application, which many in the IFA User Group had only imagined might be possible when the concept was conceived.

A process of iteration is now underway, bringing together recommendations and learning from the user experience sessions the co-creation team have operated. Now, as the official launch approaches, excitement is rising among the User Group, Ideal for All, Community groups and law enforcement agencies alike.  As you would expect, the passion doesn’t end with this phase of the project and planning to extend the reach of ‘Shout Crime’ is well underway.

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