App aiming to cut crime and improve local policing launched in Haringey 

Met Police file photo

The OWL app enables users to view information such as alerts, appeals and crime prevention advice for their local area - Credit: PA

A new app has been introduced in Haringey to better connect residents to their local police teams in an attempt to create safer neighbourhoods in the borough. 

OWL (Online Watch Link) was first used in the Hertfordshire constabulary in the early 2000s. Now, it is live in 14 other London boroughs, including Barnet and Brent, as well as Hertfordshire, with some areas achieving more than 25,000 sign-ups. 

Downloaded as a free app, it enables users to view alerts, appeals and crime prevention advice, share updates via social media, and report crimes to the police. 

Scam alerts from Action Fraud, information on local police officers, and updates on the local force’s priorities can also be viewed through the app. 

PC Neil Rogers, who looks after OWL in Haringey, believes that the ability for users to coordinate their own neighbourhood watch teams through the app has been particularly effective in other boroughs, and is something Haringey will benefit from. 

He said: "There are already many neighbourhood watches that have been going on for years and we hope that OWL will work alongside these in bringing a larger audience to neighbourhood watch and help to reduce and prevent crime across the whole borough.” 

He said the localised content on the app means everything a resident receives is "meaningful to them".  

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“It also gives residents the opportunity to reply to these messages and speak direct to their local officers about any concerns or questions they may have." 

Cllr Erdal Dogan, cabinet member for stronger and safer communities, said: “Keeping residents safe is our top priority. A key part of that is making sure that everyone has access to the latest information on crime, fraud and other community safety issues in their local area. 

“The OWL app will help us do just that. We’ve seen from other boroughs how effective this system is at fighting crime and building bridges between communities and the police.  

“I encourage everyone in the borough to download the app so we can work together to make Haringey safer for all our residents.” 

For those who do not want to download the app, there is the option to sign up for free e-mail updates on the OWL website