The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Unit, has launched a new smartphone app in hopes of catching wanted fugitive and child predators.
The app, entitled “Operation Predator,” is the first of its kind for a U.S. federal law enforcement agency, and features pictures, and case descriptions of fugitive sex offenders.
“We're giving a description of an individual and the person's surroundings, where they were involved in the child exploitation,” said Janice Ayala, with the Homeland Security Investigations Unit. “This provides another mechanism for us to really communicate with the public, and get the public engaged in trying to help us identify individuals who are committing crimes against children.”
In addition to listing wanted sex offenders, the app also allows users to submit anonymous tips to law enforcement, and learn more about partnerships with other agencies.
“It's really everybody's responsibility,” Ayala said. “It's a horrendous crime. It robs people of their childhood, and we really need serious public engagement, because I believe it's all of our responsibilities to work towards this.”
The app is free and only currently available for the iPhone. A version for Android devices is in the works.