/ April 21, 2008

Wikicrimes: The New Wave of Law Enforcement

A Brazilian professor has recently launched the newest effort to tackle his country’s soaring crime rate: a website, dubbed “Wikicrimes,” where victims may post the details of the crimes they have experienced, including the time, place, and profile of the attacker. The founder of Wikicrimes, Professor Vasco Furtada, hopes that his website will bring more awareness to the extremely high crime rate that Brazil suffers, while also empowering both victims and potential victims with information about crime patterns. Public opinion about Wikicrimes remains mixed. Some citizens believe that in a society where the police are sometimes corrupt or incompetent, Furtada’s site offers a much needed outlet for victims to report their stories. Law enforcement officials, however, view the site as potentially harmful to investigations or police operations. One officer in Rio’s Civil Police Department states in an article from the BBC:

“…we don’t want a feeling of insecurity for the people – they don’t deserve that here or anywhere else in the world.”

Finally, homeowners in the neighborhoods for which the site shows many incidents have complained that Wikicrimes is painting an unfair picture of their community.

Would you like to see a site like Wikicrimes for the United States? Please comment below.

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