The subject of this essay  will greatly improve our security and if done well revolutionise how law enforcement is practised with stolen goods and other matters.

Please read it and pass it on if you agree...................

In the never ending pursuit to make crime not pay, it would seem that the collective brains and spare time of society should be able to use the internet as a powerful tool to help facilitate investigative detective work.


By and large the great majority of crimes around the modern world are not solved. The general public have been lulled into a helpless state of accepting this along with the politically brainless sentiment that they can not do anything except to pay more tax dollars to increase the police force.

An advanced website with the power of "Google" type search engines can be used to simplify police detective work and at the same time give the general public the information they would need to follow up on suspicions and hunches, if they came across something they believed to be stolen or lost. This same website would also be used as a tool to report their stolen items. These reports can then be used for insurance claims and can also reduce or replace the policeman's valuable time in filling in and filing out reports of stolen goods on the owners behalf.

Furthermore this same stolen item report should be available to one's neighborhood and any parties that may have an interest in such information. It should absolutely not be exclusively in the domain of the law enforcement or other government departments that don't have such a vested interest in researching or marketing ones loss. Time has shown that countless police reports get very little attention as police resources are usually stretched with more pressing matters.

An interactive dynamic national website is needed that can cross reference all model numbers, identification numbers, VIN numbers and product descriptions by location, category, color, material type, height, description of environment where the item was lost, address, suspicious characteristics surrounding the loss, etc. These details would all be entered into a mega data base that the public can use.

This national website could be a great way for people to OFFER REWARDS and stimulate a social interest in more returns of stolen goods. If the thief is tracked down they can pay five fold whatever the reward was (if they have the means ?) as well do the jail time.

The Website should have a data analysis search engine that the public can use to find all different types of commonality of stolen goods by locality, street address, category, age of item, value, model type, origin, color(s), identifying damage or wear and tear, identification marks, time of day, week and month, etc.

These data should not just be in the domain of the police.

People relocating to a an area should be able to access the crime rate before moving , neighbors can be alerted to the break-ins in their area or street and some of the patterns of how vulnerable the victims were. Most people would want to know the crime activities of the street where they are renting or considering purchasing a house.

Were there any common features to the burglaries? Did they leave or not leave a light on? Did they have a dog, what time did the burglaries occur etc? Why was an unknown white car in the neighborhood during the burglaries? Did they have a door to door salesman knock on their door earlier in the day etc what did the neighbors say they noticed that was suspicious?

We already have neighborhood watch groups around the world but why can they not use the net to access what is really going on in their neighborhood ? Information by word of mouth becomes distorted very fast.

Apprehending criminals is the domain of the police but web searching via a stolen items data base can be ours. We are the ones who are more likely to see the stolen goods, we are also the ones who may come across offers we can't refuse, etc.

With this proposed database we could rapidly track down a lot without further taxing the already stretched police resources. We, the public, are the ones that may cross reference items on EBay or from local pawn shops. We are the ones who can offer a reward to a person in Mexico who found our motorbike!

Very few people want to call the police and say " by the way I came across a too-good-to-be-believed deal on a diamond ring, do you want to check it out"? But if a person could search online for a one carat square cut diamond ring with blue sapphire side stones, this search engine could do the job and find maybe forty such rings and maybe one of them is the ring in the web based digital photo.

A quick email to the victim of the theft can reveal more details and whether it is worth contacting the police. The police badly need the general public as partners in solving crime but if they don't enlist and support them with readily available information, how can we be partners? Of course the FBI and other agencies have websites now but they are data poor and do not use or enlist the public's assistance. For some reason they have not pushed hard for joining with the collective observations and intelligence of the general public in a web based manner.

On the site all the victims reports would have their e-mail's made anonymous so the addresses could not be scammed by those low criminal urchins of society called spammers. This is what does and it is a great way to preventing unsolicited emails etc. However, the police would be able to access the victims true email address by method of a password, and other members of the public could send information or questions to the victims in the quest of tracking down the item(s).

When the stolen report is made online by the victim, she or he has more of an interest to do a thorough and detailed report online when he has time to edit and redraft it. The reports would be designed to facilitate the data analysis and search engines and can also be used to explore other avenues of investigation. The victim can also delete the entry if the item is located.

Victims would be permitted to discuss or email their crimes with others in their neighborhood to discover if they may have missed vital clues or commonality. Law enforcement should not prevent this right of the victims. With search engines and screening enquiries of data analysis, a dynamic website will often find inferential information for detective solutions. These reports that are open to the public would need to have inboxes that allow for the data tables to screen, filter, mine and have 'just feeling lucky' analysis tools .

Please remember that law enforcement has no right to hide our data on the great majority of criminal actions from us and they do not intend to. It is just that they have not been supported in using the web more creatively. Of course certain criminal activities such as drug dealing or terrorism suspicions require stealth investigating, but most do not.

The website would be a powerful medium for saving time . And if done well on a national level it could save billions of law enforcement man-hours. Many police reports waste valuable tax payers dollars and can be just as well done online. Helping police to verify and ask pertinent questions by phone after seeing the first online report would be more effective and less time consuming.

Of course the Police would still attend to serious crimes but many would still need data info entered into this site as a tool of investigation and newsworthy information . There will never be enough detectives and there will always be this growing stigma that crime does pay until the general public is allowed the tools and information to double check, research, and investigate their hunches. Having the police report accessible to the victim can allow them to amend it later as other discoveries develop concerning the lost item or items. Small details as afterthoughts often don't get entered into the one time only static police reports. The officer in charge can be alerted to these changes by email or surfing his beats reports.

Not all Police reports should have to be made by an already busy law enforcement officer who has become skilled in many other areas as it is just not cost efficient or an effective use of resources. In the times that I have made police reports there has been zero follow up or results . This is not the officers fault, it's just that he was just running off to do the next report. At least by creating an email relationship I could have contacted the officer with the relevant information and emailed file number url. Then the officer could contact me after they had read the report. The assigned law enforcement person could be more of a clerical type of person that enjoys this kind of office job and is more inclined and trained to cross reference the relevant data.

Many times reports are not made on minor crimes as Mrs. Jones will have to wait for the officer to arrive and this is inconvenient to both parties. As the great majority of crimes are not solved, clearly the present system needs an infusion of good ideas to improve it . The police would still make the decision on whether to visit the victim for filing a stolen goods report, in addition to having the report entered by the victim on the website allowing the victim to edit it for accuracy!!


We can aid the police by trying to assist in finding collaborating evidence to locate the stolen items and this should be

our right providing we do not interfere or hinder police work. The police are our servants but we must also be given the tools to serve them.
Giving the taxpayers a powerful web based tool to protect and defend their property should be the governments job to approve, support and finance.

Nowhere am I suggesting vigilantism which is illegal. If Mr. Jones finds pertinent data on a stolen item, thief or serous law breaker he must inform the Law enforcers and never interfere with police work.
But the victim should have the option and venue to offer a reward. As this will be a great way to get the investigative ball rolling and at the same time generate a network of interest via search engines when ever an individual thinks they have come across something hot.
Investigating stolen property should be fun when possible and encouraging the victims to offer sensible rewards can be a great way to enlist research. The

insurance industry should be happy if a policeman in Tijuana stops a traffic violator and upon checking the VIN number of the Toyota pickup radios it into the station which pulls up the car as a stolen car with a $500 reward. Many thousands of stolen vehicles go to Mexico every year and very seldom get found.
A car dumped at the side of the road could find its owner a lot quicker this way also. As often folks don't want to call the police when they see a car sitting for long time but the citizen can check the net and straight away by tapping in the license number see if it has been stolen. And thereby not waste the law's time if it is not stolen.

Soon with the way web based cell phones are going we could do this on the fly.

A man is working in a wreckers yard and is suspicious about the car he is taking apart he wouldn't call the police on a hunch but he could check the vin number on a website. He doesn't want to call the police and give his personal info and be made to wait twenty minutes while the right person checks the vin number for him ,its that simple.

We are the eyes and ears for the police but they should allow us to use our brains a bit more, they must endorse and promote technologies to help to us to be more proactive. Without being sure of something we naturally do not want to pester them with suspicions or hunches . It is partly for this reason that so much crime goes unsolved.

A man is offered a set of expensive golf clubs at a suspiciously low price, he realizes the seller knows little about the game and thinks the scratches on the clubs may be some kind of identifying marker, So he finds the clubs on the website by using the search engines for a fifty mile radius as well the golf club brand. He types in the search words and then homes in on the clubs maker and golf bag description. Just like eBay in a few seconds he's looking at a picture of them.

One call or email to the police and the fence is picked up . He also picks up a handsome reward that is repaid to the victim by the happy insurance company.

Without the massive data based and simple to use website the owner could have kissed his treasured clubs goodbye.
I climbed a tree some years back moving along a branch to a beautiful parrot. The friendly bird hopped onto my finger and I spent the next few weeks trying to find the owner, I stuck up signs in the neighborhood and pet stores, visited all the pet related websites but failed to locate the owner .

It is the same with cat's and dogs, one site that can integrate all the data from all the minor sites on lost pets sure would be a great service for many reasons. Many pets are impounded or given away before the owner can locate them. There are a lot of pounds and shelters that one has to search through and they need to all join the same database .

Technology can solve these problems? The problem is we are not using it in the best ways.  Could be a mega site that serves the public good and is carefully crafted to minimize abuse, inefficiencies and misunderstanding.

It is a site that is greatly needed yesterday ?

It could also be called or etc the name doesn't matter the point is that the public has a right to this type of data tool... The Police could save countless hours avoiding mistakes in filing stolen goods reports and the victims could enter photographs of their items for all potential witnesses or good neighbors to review. Where else can Mrs. Jones show the world her missing jewelry ? Many times stolen goods don't travel many miles before they are sold again , at a reduced price which should be a red light to the honest citizen. As I have written before the average Joe isn't going to pester the police with a hunch or suspicion but he is happy to check it out on a website. Today we don't use the net this way and yet when we are a victim of a crime we often feel helpless as do our inadequately resourced police officers.
Law enforcement and other agencies can be creative in encouraging us to the use it by giving awards of recognition etc when it is used successfully .

In this age of internet skills and low cost digital cameras it would be an incentive for items of value to be digitally photographed by the owner so that the insurance company can feel the victim is sincere in protecting their property.

Insurance companies could lower premiums if the subscriber shows such due diligence .
Careful property owners could engrave ID numbers such as their license number on the items they especially value.

If the thief does not erase it and someone runs a search online then this could be all it would take to locate the original owner.
The reports would be made in a way that the data can be collected to evaluate a large number of interesting cross findings. Even Video footage if available surrounding certain crimes could be posted on line.

The same system could be applied to a large number of crime types.

Perhaps there is a site with all of the faces of the wanted fugitives in the US but unless the government centralizes all of these kinds of website into one well publicized one the public is unlikely to explore it.

Some ideas would have to be researched and approved of by law enforcement to prevent abuse or negative social side effects.

Even diamonds can have numbers lasered on their edges, a whole new industry could grow that ensures expensive items have unique identity codes .

Hurricane Katrina is a classic example of how the public needs ownership of a website for locating family members after a disaster . The Red Cross has offered such a service in a commendably fast time . But shouldn't such a site have already existed on a national level .?? is an excellent site that has had hundreds of thousands of hits assisting with the chaos of Hurricane Katrina but it is not designed to do this job . With government support or should I say correct tax payers support , a website that has massive search engines with all the cross referencing technology from databases across the country, should be given to the public to use as a tool to protect, defend , and serve the pubic security. But it has to be interactive and not monopolized by one government departments or rigid federal institutions .
Truly it should be for the people of the people and by the people .

Katrina showed we didn't even have a clue on how to use the internet in a disaster . In Dunkirk during the second world war thousands of boats both large and small crossed the English channel to ferry the trapped soldiers back to England.

If a website existed requesting help from boat owners who had their own trailers and fuel.

New Orleans could have had over a thousand volunteers and their boats collecting stranded citizens within two days. The web could have told them what to bring, registered their authorization to be printed out on the home computers so they could get through the check points and drive to the correct emailed location to report to, all in a few minutes!!
The list goes on in how the net can attract, use and benefit by the heroes that walk our streets called the general public. But if you don't engage us Mr. Government then you are not apart of us. We don't want to pay huge taxes to emergency services that we can do for much less cost.
To create such a site is remarkably inexpensive with today's extraordinary technologies, the science is already available. Just a few million annually would set up a such mega site.

A webpage is needed that can get in contact with volunteers with the right skills in a disaster. That can coordinate resources offered by volunteers on the fly as it locates them. Is also a big must have and must be cross linked with all of the other public service sites.

The internet is a space time annialator that can network resources in seconds for a wide variety of services .

There are plenty of skilled folks who are not in the national guard that would be delighted to take direction from such an organization when a disaster strikes. Screening of such individuals can be done in minutes via web based forms .

Emergency or public safety matters can be related to the same massive website that the general public can feel is theirs and should already be aware of before a disaster strikes .

Though the website is tax payer financed ,it should not be held down by too much government bureaucracy, it has to be alive and awake to new technologies and ideas and be inventive while developing a strong marketing arm to encourage the public to use it and accept it as a personal service.

When an earthquake shatters a city, several thousand volunteers could be mustered on the fly to help and find victims and such. Car pooling these volunteers who could bring their own tools or earthmoving equipment should be at there own risk and not be bogged down in liability issues which are the greatest weakness in the system. Just get them to answer to the chain of command in incident management and you can greatly increase your emergency response.

Why do we have to rely on the public safety institutions that do not ask the capable citizens for help? Its because any time a good idea comes up, the law may get too cautious and let liabilities outweigh the threat to the common good . And as a result society becomes negative about abuse of the system rather than the potential fruits of the proposal when well planned.  Of course systems of screening for appropriate resources to confront any situation are needed in a rapid manner.

So most of these negative potential issues can be minimized to acceptable levels . The government will spend billions on public safety and homeland defense which is essential but it must learn to use the collective intelligence, knowledge , sleflessness and abilities of the general public through the use of the net.

The government and its departments are hamstrung by the very nature of their large structure. This website must not be commandeered by a majority of lawyers, realtors, business people or single government departments who may seem to have lobbying influence with the powerful politicians, it would be better served if operated by a broader cross section of society.

America like any other technologically developed country has this incredible internet resource that can be incorporated into the public good . But it must overcome the territorial fiefdoms of government departments and be creatively and technologically cutting edge, innovative, and result based .

We have the brains , Google, , Microsoft , Americas Most Wanted, and others companies should huddle down with law enforcement and FEMA and get a fat check out of our tax base to put an idea like this and many others together.
Of course I know many folks don't use the net but many do and enough do, to make this idea viable now.

So far the government hasn't even managed to control and penalize the spammers that cost many millions of manhours every day online. That's how out of touch it is with how central the net is to our lives and the economy . So while its missing its opportunities to improve our day via the net on this front lets hope that it learns to use the net for the many tools it can provide its citizens . I believe such an idea as this will happen and is already well overdue with everyone's encouragement and enthusiasm lets not make it wait ten years.