What if you could do something right at this moment to make Miami a safer place to live? What if you - an ordinary citizen - could stop crime before it happens?
A new app called Torch makes this possible. It’s a crowdsourcing app that empowers regular people to work with police and other authorities to keep neighborhoods safe. In fact, Torch was developed in conjunction with law enforcement, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. military, and 911 services.
Torch addresses some of the major crime and safety trends we’re currently seeing in Miami. Although it’s unsettling to look at Miami’s issues with drug and gang-related violence, it’s inspiring to know that the safety leaders at Torch are trying to do something about it.
Let’s look at some Miami crime and safety issues that are directly addressed by the app.
Overall, Miami is rated as a fairly safe city with pockets of higher-crime activity. It gets a ranking of “medium” on the safety site SafeAround, which tracks cities on a variety of crime factors.
One thing that’s a bit difficult to see in the data - and understand from stories in the media - is that the incidents of exceptional violence and crime are mostly limited to certain zones. Fortunately, Torch takes this in stride, because it has built-in geographic pinpointing.
Anywhere in Miami and beyond, you can use Torch to report seeing a crime in progress and the information goes straight to law enforcement. Your report provides enough geographic data to allow police to respond effectively.
Miami has a medium-level risk of street crimes like pickpocketing and mugging. If you’ve ever been a victim of of of these crimes, you know it can be a traumatizing experience. It happens so fast and leaves you feeling violated. Bystanders might not know how to help - but with Torch, they can take immediate action.
Torch allows victims and bystanders to report the incident to authorities within moments. Share an instant report of where it happened, what occurred, which way the criminal headed, and so forth.
During the critical period after a crime occurs, you’ve already reported it faster through Torch than it would take to make a phone call. (Of course, always call 911 in case of emergency.)
Property Crime and Vandalism
Homeowners and business owners can also use Torch to report incidents of theft, burglary, vandalism, and other crimes that occur on their property or the property of their neighbors. If you arrive at home to find that somebody spray-painted your vehicle, you can report it through Torch and know authorities will be immediately aware.
This has real-time effects on halting crime. When police are receiving a constant flow of fast reports from community members, they can track down the perpetrators and stop more crimes from happening.
Torch also creates a record you can share with insurance adjusters, lawyers, and others involved with handling the after-effects of crime. This helps you bounce back from being a victim of crime much more quickly.
Overall, the risk of being scammed in Miami is low. But it’s a higher risk factor for certain vulnerable groups, like older and homebound people - and a shocking 90% of these scams are perpetrated by trusted friends, family members, and care providers.
Here’s something else you might not realize: Millennials, as a group, lost more money to scams than elderly people last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. More than half of people who lose money to scams are young or middle-aged adults with a college degree.
People who are scammed usually have a high level of embarrassment about it and a reluctance to report it. That’s why Torch is so powerful - It allows anonymous reporting, so you can do something about crime with minimal risk.
Miami is #10 on the list of the country’s hardest-hit cities by hurricanes and tropical storms. It’s also at high risk of storm-related flooding, lightning damage, power emergencies, and other natural disasters.
Torch allows citizens to report disaster-related issues to authorities and seek advice during emergencies. Imagine how helpful this would be during a massive power outage, when your cell phone can still talk to the cell network, but everything else around you is down. You can even find help for injuries, medical problems, and disaster relief efforts.
These are just a few examples of the power of Torch. So far it’s led to some incredible crime-fighting successes, including the arrests of child predators, reductions in drug dealing, tens of thousands of anonymous tips, and $50,000,000 in seizures of cash, property, and narcotics.
Download Torch and help Miami stay safe.