Will new app lead to more people reporting crimes?

Launched today, Self Evident is a free app for devices running Apple's iOS and Google's Android software and allows users to report the contact details, location and details of a crime. It has been developed by the charity Witness Confident and is supported by Google and the Robert Peel Trust to become the first app in the world to allow people to send evidence to the police.

In the London and Northumbria areas crime reports via the app will be accessed at police headquarters. Elsewhere in England and Wales the reports will be sent via neighbourhood policing teams.

Police will have direct access to reports generated by the app Credit: Witness Confident

Witness Confident, the charity behind the app, was founded in 2009 with the aim of reducing crime by giving people the confidence to engage with the police and the justice system.

The people behind the app hope it will encourage more people to report crimes. Currently, hundreds of thousands of burglaries, thefts and violent attacks go unreported each year because the British public think the process of reporting crime is too much hassle.

Developers also say the app is more reliable than traditional methods of reporting crime: ensuring police get both details about the crime and contacts for the user. Last year half a million calls to the police on the 101 service went unanswered.

Police have details of the crime and contacts for the person who reported it Credit: Witness Confident

The app helps members of the public report any crime - from anti-social behaviour to terrorism - quickly and easily. It automatically tags the time and location and allows the user to add a description and photographs to help the police.

Any crime can be reported via the app, from anti-social behaviour to terrorism Credit: Witness Confident