Canadian Cops Seek To Solve Murder Cases With Online Tips

from the crowdsourcing-investigations dept

Last week, the Toronto Police Homicide Squad launched a new website containing profiles of unsolved murder cases and wanted persons. Each profile contains details of the investigation — a written synopsis, photos and links to Google maps or even YouTube videos — and allows visitors to submit tips directly to the police. It serves not only as an appeal for information, but also as a resource for grieving families. Some of the “cold cases” date back decades, and the police are hoping that increased attention on the web (or even from the press on the website launch) might lead to a break in an investigation.

Police have long since used online tools to search for evidence themselves, but we’re starting to see them engaging online communities and developing tools and methods to appeal to the public for information through the web. A few years back, a cop from a neighboring city received a lot of press for uploading a surveillance video to YouTube, and now Toronto’s Crime Stoppers service has its own YouTube channel and Facebook page. Though, in the surveillance video case, the media coverage of the YouTube angle seemed to help a lot more than the actual video (and comments on some of the Crime Stoppers videos make you wish the comment audio preview was mandatory.) The Toronto police have found a lot of success in solving and preventing crime using these tools, and they recently presented their methods to an Interpol audience.

It’s great to see law enforcement embracing the web as a means of two-way communication with the public, though it may take some time before these latest efforts pay off. The new site looks like it could use some more design work, and previous success has involved engaging a largely younger audience on social networks, rather than trying to draw witnesses to a separate site. As long as they continue to experiment, police are bound to find the right methods to make these tools useful.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Canadian Cops Seek To Solve Murder Cases With Online Tips”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: good idea

Whatever happened to doing a good deed for the sake of helping out the community and making is safer.
If you need to offer an IPOD for a tip then you can just call that a bribe. I wouldn’t trust any tip that came from someone expecting payment in return. Just goes to show what kind of greedy society we live in. comments?

John P says:

I think these is a good idea. However there are numerous videos of police abuse in Toronto on youtube. Why haven’t those officers been charged with assault? Toronto Police is a dirty police from the days of ex Toronto Union President Craig Brommel who settled an assault lawsuit out of court for a sizable amount.

Toronto media has reported about a Toronto Police corruption case a few years ago in which Toronto Police were collecting protection money from legitimate businesses for the mob. They were also forcing transsexual prostitutes to have sex and they were giving the mob the license plate numbers of undercover cops who were tailing them. (Please don’t delete this is all verifiable by the numerous stories in the media)

Toronto Police have to earn the respect & trust of its citizens before the public will help. Regardless of what methods they use to elicit the public’s help.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...