Facewatch was started by Simon Gordon, owner of Gordon’s wine bar because he was frustrated that his customers were frequently the victims of petty crime and because he wanted to support the Police who found it difficult to solve these type of incidents.
Simon initially set out to create a simple, low cost platform using modern technology that would enable businesses to support the victim and to pass the information they had from their CCTV cameras to the Police to help them solve crimes more effectively. Simon soon realised that the platform could also be used as a powerful tool to enable businesses to share information between themselves thereby enabling them to adopt the measures necessary to reduce and to prevent crime from happening.
After four years of development and significant investment, Facewatch has evolved. The new version of the Facewatch platform is secure and scalable and is being used by thousands of businesses and by many Police forces. Whilst staying true to its core philosophy of almost being a public service, Facewatch remains free for the Police and the Law Enforcement community and charges businesses a small subscription fee to be able to share information and to exploit the analytical tools available on Facewatch. Reporting crime on Facewatch, however, remains free. In the future, Facewatch will aim to generate new functions and APPs and to partner on a commercial basis with a range of companies whose services, such as facial recognition, will further empower businesses to become more effective in preventing and deterring crime.
We at Facewatch remain committed to supporting the Police and, through the power of online collaboration, to enable and empower businesses to grow whilst helping them create a safer and more secure environment for their customers, their staff and our communities.
Facewatch is a secure online crime reporting and information sharing platform that enables businesses, public and police to tackle low-level crime by sharing images within groups for the prevention of crime and by submitting digital evidence files to the police to help solve crimes.
Facewatch provides a single cloud base resource that enables subjects of interest images, moving CCTV evidence and paperless automated witness statements to be uploaded by businesses to the police through a simple interface, available via any internet connected device. This open system approach gives businesses, the public and the police an open but highly secure platform to enable faster and more effective crime management and communications.
Facewatch is the only system to have been granted the ‘Secured by Design’ status from the Association of Chief Police Officers. Facewatch was launched in early 2010 and has thousands of business premises registered already. The system is in the process of being rolled out to all police forces across the UK.
Facewatch launched a mobile phone App (Facewatch ID) with the Metropolitan Police in June 2012 to enable the public to identify images of subjects of interest by postcode in the London area. There have been over 100,000 downloads of the App with hundreds of identifications made. An upgraded version of the Facewatch ID mobile App was launched in early February 2014. The App is already in use by a number of Constabularies and is now being made available to all Police forces.
A communications portal to enable London Hotels to share security information during the Olympic games was successfully launched and is now an established resource for the London Hotel community.
The system saves police time and generates high conviction rates. Trials in London and elsewhere in the country have shown that Facewatch acts as a strong deterrent to low-level crime. Facewatch enables businesses to make informed decisions about crime prevention measures.
At its heart, Facewatch creates online communities that work together to create a safer environment for us all to work and live in.