Helping people enjoy a safer place to live, work, and drive.
Helping people enjoy a safer place to live, work, and drive.
If you are skeptical crime can be 100% eliminated at your home or business that’s understandable!
It took me years to see how all the pieces should work together.
Below is a bit how this unfolded.
First, I was trying to help our IT company's customers stop crime.
Then one night at a technology conference in San Francisco I happened to meet two fellow Canadians.
They had this hush hush plan of allowing everyone with a phone to be able to report parking meter infractions. I had to agree, it seemed like it could save municipalities a lot of money and get parking violators off the roads much faster.
Sometime after that, I realized that since everyone has a phone in their pocket they should also be shown crimes nearby! They could then be allowed to help build the criminals latest location for the police.
Soon the Lightcatch app was being developed and patents were being filed.
While the app was being built I created a successful Facebook group in my home town of Grande Prairie. We treated that group like it was the app, and had two people pretty much full time helping those who posted.
It was during that time I had a hunch. I felt that the way people communicated would make a big difference.
A year after trying to get people who created posts to communicate the way I recommended, I measured the results and reported them to a local crime watch group. I was blown away.
That hunch had led to being able to improve a theft victims or a suspicious activity alerts results by 500% compared to people who just did what they thought was best.
Arrests were faster, and even sentencing of some criminals took place when our formula was followed. The formula was literally breaking the cycle of repeat offenders, people said couldn't be broken. It was getting the justice system to work in a way people said couldn't be done.
To be honest, those results were more stumbled into than some cunning intellect, but that didn't matter, we knew it worked.
About 1 year after Lightcatch was released, Tom, a 25 year veteran police officer and member of our Advisory Board, got a further insight. His suggestions again revolved around improving the way people communicate.
We could only afford to implement his suggestions in 3 cities and 8 rural areas. This time we didn't ask them to edit their post, like we had done on Facebook, as that often took days for the post creator to make the right changes. Those delays had watered down people's results and drained our resources.
We just went and improved things on the app on their behalf. Six months later, I had data that showed the results for those who got the improved communication, doubled from a 41% success rate to 80%.
Adding my original insight together with Tom's it was becoming clear we could deliver results that were an improvement of about 10 times better than what most people experience.
Somewhere in that time I learned from Jenna, a local security system technician how security companies implemented deterrence before a crime happened, and this had a tremendous impact.
Building on the principles Jenna shared, we eventually doubled, then tripled, the effectiveness of stopping crimes before they happened. Again, this was something I stumbled into. After she happened to mention one little thing in passing, it was like light bulbs went off and a big 'aha' moment regarding stopping crimes before they happen took place.
I had first been talking to Jenna about a different problem. That problem was the slow reporting speed that seemed to always be taking place. We felt if there could only be some way to let people get their data from a security camera system to the app, it would eliminate all the delays in reporting we kept seeing.
Our data showed over and over, that slow reporting was actually the single biggest barrier to preventing or stopping crime. It was a funny situation, everyone always thinks they will be the ones who will report anything very fast, but in reality over 80% of the reports are over 1 hour late.
Much later, I learned there are structural reasons for the non stop slow reporting, and that most people will never speed up their reporting until they change how their security is setup.
Speed was one thing, but for camera owners allowing someone access to their cameras was a deal breaker! If some stranger could access people's cameras, it created all sorts of potential for bad publicity and bad feelings,
We had spent about two years, a team of developers, lots of consulting and had gotten nowhere with the issue of how to improve speed, but still have guaranteed privacy of their cameras. Then one Sunday morning while the topic was completely off my mind, and I was in the shower of all places, all the technology pieces needed just popped in my head!
I saw how both privacy and speed of reporting could be delivered in a fail safe way. I couldn't believe we had solved what seemed like the last missing piece of the puzzle! About 90 days later the engineers had built a flawless system. It was awesome.
Not So Fast
Thinking we now had a flawless system and all that people needed was to hear how perfect everything could be, was probably the biggest mistake I've ever made along the way.
I've made countless others, but that one was a big one.
I then spent years providing all the education material to groups, muncipalities, police forces, home owners and businesses all for free.
Dozens and dozens of times I would start to help people who were interested in getting their security improved. We needed to build up proof how revolutionary this system was.
At some point almost everyone would get to a stage where they would say 'Oh this is good enough'. It's so easy when there haven't been any problems lately and life gets busy, to leave an issue like property security on the backburner and never get to it.
Others would have a security company or friend talk them out of what our recommendations were.
Along the way, by accident, I learned from double crime victims, who had suffered through some pain, that they were instinctively doing exactly what we had learned from Jenna. They no longer were listening to great camera reviews, what social media said, or what was popular.
The bottom line to me, is that despite the explosion in smartphones, cheap cameras, and social media, we are stuck in a pattern that isn't going anywhere with the way things are being done now.
People are frustrated and hurt when they are victims. Businesses lose too much money to this issue. Every once in a while someone gets killed, as this problem lingers and festers like an open wound. Criminals get away with breaking the law so many times, it becomes the way things are done.
This has become our mission to change this. I hope you can enjoy the good things that come from it!