Local lifts lid on crime

2015-10-20 06:00
Mogamad Yusuf Isaacs from Belgravia has developed the CitySpy Android app to help communities fight crime more effectively.

Earl Haupt

Mogamad Yusuf Isaacs from Belgravia has developed the CitySpy Android app to help communities fight crime more effectively. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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A Belgravia pioneer has taken an innovative step in the ongoing fight against crime.

Mogamad Yusuf Isaacs developed a mobile Android app named CitySpy.

The app allows users to report crimes whilst at the same time warning fellow users within a two-kilometre radius of the reported incident.

The idea is to create awareness about crime in the area and share information which could lead to the arrest of criminals sooner rather than later, taking community policing to another level.

The app uses location-based data to track the crimes reported by users to aid fellow community members in identifying criminals and bringing them to book as the police would also be encouraged to use the app to help them perform their duties.

Isaacs says he decided to develop the app after being a victim of crime himself.

“Having been affected by crime on a regular basis, I thought to myself there must be a way that a smartphone app can be used to reduce crime,” he says.

He used the topic as the basis of research for his thesis at university.

“After receiving positive feedback from my supervisor, peers and thesis presentation panel, I decided to build a real-life app based on my research, and that is how CitySpy was born”.

Isaacs noticed a pattern emerging on other social networking sites whereby users were reporting instances of crime.

In addition, the app serves as a social network where users can discuss anything related to their city.

He noticed that quite frequently on other social networking sites there were “hot topics” in his city, where seemingly everyone was talking about one thing, be it police brutality, cyclist road rage, mountain fires or even the opening of parliament. Instead of the conversation being scattered all over different social networks, Isaacs has allowed his app to centralise these issues relating to crime and the community in which it is taking place and make it more accessible – basically taking the trouble out of sifting through various feeds on various social platforms.

Other features included in the app consist of saving your car information on your profile for easy reporting in the event that it gets stolen or hijacked, filtering posts to show only robberies, traffic incidents, hijackings, stolen cars, shootings, missing people, missing pets or discussions, and the ability to comment on posts of other users.

CitySpy is currently only available in South Africa and can be downloaded on the Google Play Store.

For more information on the app visit www.cityspy.co.za or email info@cityspy.co.za. For all other information contact Isaacs on 081 535 7901 or isaacsy@­cityspy.co.za.

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