A Mobile App as Part of a Decision Support System

The INSPEC2T mobile application is developed around three main pillars: community engagement, security awareness and incident reporting. Since one of INSPEC2T’s objectives is the implementation of an interactive platform for the communication of LEAs with citizens, the mobile application facilitates use by both major stakeholders and therefore, for security and practical reasons, runs in two versions; one for use by citizens and one used by LEA.

As a general practice, functionality on the mobile application is offered following a feature based approach where depending on the user’s consent and settings configuration only relevant features and information is communicated.

A.    Community Engagement

This pillar aids increasing trustworthiness with LEAs through opening a direct communication channel, but most importantly aids community building, bringing citizens of mutual interests and possibly concerns closer allowing them to act collaboratively on issues.

The notion of community in the platform is generic and encompasses any organized act where multiple parties, of possibly sharing interests, are involved. Additionally, a community can be either: a) open, meaning that anyone can join without the need of approval or b) closed, where new members need to be added by existing members. This generic concept covers both communities generated by municipalities affecting users residing in the same area and also organized teams whose activity is influenced by the general community (i.e. taxi drivers, cycling teams). Communities can be created either by LEA or registered citizens.

Under community engagement lies also the ability of a citizen to directly contact their CP officer, either via phone or text and also the CP officer’s ability to broadcast message notifications to citizens registered under their community.

B.    Security Awareness

With respect to the critical aspect of security awareness, the INSPEC2T mobile application facilitates the functionality of crime maps, where a user can view the occurrence of crimes on a map and their proximity to their location with the Police being in control of what appears on the map; supporting the process of strategic planning.

Additionally, the application will be capable of implementing the mechanisms of transmitting/receiving push notifications according to the user’s location allowing the user to know if something happens in their surrounding area; this is both for sending warning messages as well as in cases where the police may request supplementary information related to an incident in progress. In this respect, and based on the principles of user roles and organised groups, upon appropriate configuration, registered citizens will be able to view the location of their co-members whilst the same is enabled by default for LEA roles; the option of tracking one’s location and reconstructing its path later on is also available upon request, with compliance to the applied legal framework.

C.    Incident Reporting

The third and final pillar of the INSPEC2T mobile application is focused on incident reporting. Incident reporting is done in a non-intrusive way in a friendly environment in an effort to make the user feel comfortable about what they are to report; especially considering cases where the reporter is also the victim of the incident. Due to this, the user is allowed to file its report anonymously also requesting them to indicate their relation to the reported incident so that the operator is aware of this in case the user requires any additional support, such as psychological.

The INSPEC2T mobile application also allows the recording and supply of multimedia files including audio recordings, images, videos as well as text documents; once these are supplied to the INSPEC2T platform analytics processes the content and results are shown to the operator. Multimedia files might be added to the report at any time while the app also supports recording of evidence for use in future reports; understanding the fact that during the occurrence of an event the user may not be in position of filing a report or the payload of the files is large and may cause additional charges to the user’s data plan.

Finally, a key feature of the mobile app is a panic-button like functionality with allows reporting of an incident in very few clicks facilitating provision with minimal information.

PanicButton LEA Map

Fig. Example mockups (Resource Map and Panic Incident)