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A new smartphone App, researched by the London School of
Economics and Political Science (LSE) and developed jointly with
the force, is now available to download.
Designed to share real time information with the police and people
in the City of London, the App offers a host of general day-to-day
useful features about the City of London Police. Anyone
installing it on their smartphone will get access to information
There is also an additional key feature that will help the City
of London Police to assess and monitor crowd density during large
scale events – but it only works when people who have installed the
App agree to share their location data.
When the force ‘switches’ on this crowd sourcing capability during
big events or gatherings, people with the App installed receive a
message asking if they are prepared to opt into the service.
People who agree will share their location. This information is
used anonymously by the City of London Police to provide greater
clarity on the movement of crowds during events and will allow the
force to send relevant warning and informing messages to people
through the App, on twitter and through the force website.
City of London Police Assistant Commissioner Frank Armstrong says:
‘This App is packed with useful features and is also about helping
to keep people safe. It is an excellent way for people to learn
more about the force. It will also help the City of London Police
to monitor crowds during large events and to keep people informed.
This really is about police and the public working together for our
‘I have no doubt it will prove to be a valuable tool to guide our
policing response during events, or emergencies – but we can only
do this with the public’s trust and help.’
The App has been developed as part of a four year European project
called Socionical by three partners (German Research Centre for
Artificial Intelligence (DFKI); ETH Zurich and LSE). Socionical is
funded by the European Union and aims to help scientists and policy
makers better understand how the applied use of new technology can
Prof. Eve Mitleton-Kelly, from the LSE, has been involved with
the App since its inception. She said: ‘This is a tremendous
breakthrough in the use of technology that can be of real and
practical benefit to society. It was initially designed to be
used for safe evacuation following a major incident, but has proved
its worth in peaceful but crowded events by making them more
Sgt Rebecca Walker, from the City of London Police’s Emergency
Planning department, has been working closely with the (LSE)
She said: ‘We have taken into account people’s concern about legal
data protection and privacy issues. Personal mobile numbers are not
collected and the data is sent anonymously. We’re certainly not
tracking individuals – we are purely assessing crowd density and
movement. We want people to feel safe and comfortable when
using the App in the City and to know they’re helping the police –
and in turn that we can help them. The App also had to meet
stringent EU regulations on privacy.’
A version of the App for Android smartphones is currently being
developed and will be introduced soon.