Map of Krefeld with radar symbol in the center.
Police offer "burglary radar" app for North Rhine-Westphalia
Minister Reul: "Citizens should be able to inform themselves about the risk in their neighborhood. That sharpens their senses and prevents risks.
Ministry of the Interior of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

From now on, the North Rhine-Westphalian police will use an app to inform citizens about burglaries in their neighborhood. The application provides information on previous crimes and, on this basis, forecasts on the likelihood of burglaries. The app also contains important prevention tips. For example, users can find out how to better secure their homes against burglars and are referred to the regional police advice centers.

"Citizens should be able to find out about the risk in their neighborhood. This sharpens their senses and prevents crime. Only those who are aware of a danger can protect themselves against it," said Minister Herbert Reul.

The service was developed jointly with Provinzial Insurance and Fraunhofer FOKUS and is a new function of the existing "Mehr Wetter-App", which is operated by the insurance company. Certain functions will also be integrated into the "KATWARN" app.

Although the number of domestic burglaries in North Rhine-Westphalia has been falling steadily in recent years - most recently to around 27,000 according to police crime statistics for 2019 - combating them is still a priority for the police. "A burglary is often a very stressful experience for the victims. Their sense of security is often shattered, with serious psychological consequences. That's why we can't rest on our laurels, we have to keep at it," says Reul.

The forecast is usually sent as a push notification every Monday for the locations specified in advance by the user in the app, provided that an increased probability of burglary has been forecast temporarily and regionally, and is valid for one week. Past crime scenes are also displayed on a city map. However, the map only shows the rough distribution of the crime scenes, so that no conclusions can be drawn about specific addresses. This "heat map" is updated once a month.

For the time being, the app's functions are limited to the area of responsibility of the 16 criminal investigation departments of the North Rhine-Westphalian police. These include the police headquarters in Aachen, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Cologne, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach, Münster, Recklinghausen and Wuppertal.

The aim of the software is to further strengthen prevention and raise public awareness of the issue of burglary using a modern approach. This is a useful addition to the existing police crime prevention services.

The apps are available free of charge in the App Store and Google Play Store. Forecasts will be published for the first time on November 30, 2020.


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