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Citizens Use Technology to Fight Crime in Guyana

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, January 29 2014

Screen shot of Guyana Crime Reports

With mapping technology and social media platforms at your fingertips, you no longer need to be bitten by a radioactive spider to take crime fighting into your own hands. Case in point: Guyana Crime Reports, which marries data journalism, mapping and crowdsourcing to make a powerful tool for citizen crime fighting.

Guyana Crime Reports both aggregates news reports from local and international media outlets and accepts citizen-submitted crime reports, which are “verified more rigorously than stories aggregated from established media sources,” according to Global Voices.

Tech entrepreneur and Guyana Crime Reports creator Vijay Datadin says his motivation is to fight crime:

As a citizen [of Guyana], it would be to my benefit if crime went down. I'm doing this not for any immediate commercial benefit but because I think it needed to be done. There [has] to be a public conversation about crime…based not only on opinion but on facts, one that affords a more reasoned and inclusive debate about factors that cause crime and the policies that can help curb it.

The site can be searched by categories of crime: violent, domestic, crime against children, narcotics, corruption, etc.

Anyone can submit a crime report, either through a form, an email, or a tweet. So far, there are 460 total reports.

For example, the most recent report, from January 25, reads:

Hello there and thanks for making this website possible. I'm writing about this fatal accident between a toyota wagon and a motorcycle on saturday morning. I was at the scene, and i read the report in kaieteur news and the chronicle and thats not the true story. The driver of the car who they have there is not the driver who cause the accident...was a lil boy driving and he was very drunk. I know them boys man, them get a juice place on camp street.They hold the bigger brother but not him was ain't see there is no scratch on he skin and he was involve in such an accident...You all should hold and question the other one..Justice must be done. If this not done he can cause more problem. Thank you and keep up the good work.

This report is marked unverified.

A verified report from January 21 reads, “A man who slapped his wife after she refused to have sexual intercourse with him was Tuesday jailed for 12 months,” and includes a link to the accompanying news article.

Eventually the crime data on the website will be made available to anyone who wishes to analyze it.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network and the UN Foundation for their generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

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