A Rio taxi driver uses the Onde Tem Tiroteio app

A new citizen-created security app has been introduced in Rio de Janeiro to help alert citizens about where shootings and crimes are occurring, raising questions about how apps like this can be used to help keep citizens safe. 

The social networking application, Where There Is a Shootout (Onde Tem Tiroteio - OTT), was created by a group of Brazilian citizens to warn Rio de Janeiro's citizens in real time where shootings are occurring in the city in order to reduce their risk of being caught in the crossfire, Estadão reported. 

Today, the alerts, which have extended to other social networks like Twitter and Instagram, reach about 3 million people, nearly half of Rio de Janeiro's population, EFE reported.

In order to avoid false alarms, the group has "strict operating standards" and a network of highly trusted "informants" that are divided throughout different areas of the city, according to EFE. 

The app's creator, Benito Quintanilha, told EFE that the app has already become an important public service. 

Amnesty International launched a similar app, Crossfire (Fogo Cruzado), ahead of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro amid mounting security concerns.

InSight Crime Analysis 

Violence in Rio de Janeiro has spiralled out of control in 2017. Some experts are saying that the city is experiencing its "worst security crisis in more than a decade." However, the fact that half of the city's population is using OTT suggests that locals feel the application may have the capacity to improve citizen security. 

Cecília Olliveira, who worked as a data manager on the Crossfire app, told InSight Crime in an email that these security apps allow people the ability to "guide their way more safely through the city, and interested parties can also use the data produced to develop better public security policies for the city."

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profiles

While the general public has picked up on using these new security apps, Olliveira told InSight Crime that the government has yet to publicly take a position on the new technology. Nevertheless, the Crossfire app will be relaunched this year with widened coverage for Brazilian metropolitan regions, and Olliveira hopes increased usage by the public will spark official interest.

"The aim is the same: to generate quality data, in a collaborative way, that can aggregate the debate about armed violence and supplement the press coverage in other little-covered areas," Olliveira told InSight Crime.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy.