New app, Lightcatch, allows users in rural areas to anonymously self-report crime

WATCH ABOVE: The inventor of the app Lightcatch hopes to make residents of rural areas feel empowered as a community.

Lightcatch notifies people that something might not be right in their neighbourhood.

The free app lets users self-report when they see anything suspicious.

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“If I am in trouble, I should be able to let everybody nearby know what just took place,” app creator Darren Boyer said.

“We all have mobile phones, we can all put that information together for law enforcement.”

The idea for the app came to Boyer after police warned him to be careful having his identity on a Facebook crime page.

RCMP launches new crime watch program in southern Saskatchewan
RCMP launches new crime watch program in southern Saskatchewan

Lightcatch keeps postings anonymous.

Digital expert Katrina German cautions social media users to be careful about what they post online, even if it’s in a private group.

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“Anytime you’re something, you have to realize you’re not just sharing it to your friend,” German said.

“It’s always going to be there. You want to be really conscious about the types of things that you’re sharing.”

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Lightcatch launched four months ago and currently has over 10,000 members in Western Canada. Boyers said fewer than 1,000 are in Saskatchewan, but he hopes the app will be helpful in fighting rural crime.

“Often, people that are distant from law enforcement from geography, they feel empowered as a community because they can communicate amongst themselves and build a location for law enforcement in real-time,” Boyer said.

As long as users have access to a cell signal they can post about vandalism, property theft or other problems in their neighbourhood.