July 5 - Police in Warsaw have come up with an innovative way to enlist the public in their hunt for wanted criminal suspects, by incorporating a rogue's gallery of faces as part of a smartphone app which tests players' memory for faces. Jim Drury reports.
Smartphone app games are a popular way of whiling away time.....but 'Most Wanted' is a game with a difference. Instead of using fictional characters, the "Most Wanted" app features real-life criminal suspects. Players compete to match pairs of photographs from arrest warrants. SOUNDBITE (Polish) DDB WARSAW MOBILE BOARD ADVISOR, MIRON MIRONIUK, SAYING: "The person who makes the best time ranks first. Adding the element of competition encourages people to play. Over the last two days the game was played 3,000 times." And Miron Mironiuk from developers, DDB Warsaw says each game played brings a new measure of familiarity with each face, raising the chances of a player recognising a featured suspect in the real world. It's proving highly popular among gamers and the Polish police think it could help catch some of the country's 36,000 most wanted. Officer Piotr Bieniak..... SOUNDBITE (Polish) POLICE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF 'MOST WANTED' PROJECT, PIOTR BIENIAK, SAYING: "It is believed that every fifth arrest is made as a result of information from citizens. So we hope that the high popularity of new technologies in the society will also contribute to the arresting of the most dangerous criminals." Users who do recognise a suspect in the street can send an e-mail directly to the police's mailbox via the app. Available for Android and Apple devices, its creators believe it's the first app of its type in the world, one that could encourage a whole new form of community policing.