10/16/2013 07:31 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Victoria Police Launch Mobile Crime Fighting App

A customer inspects an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 smartphone inside a Portugal Telecom SGPS SA mobile communications store in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. Portugal Telecom SGPS SA, the country's biggest phone company, agreed to merge with Brazilian affiliate Oi SA, creating a carrier with almost $17 billion in sales and 100 million customers to bulk up in Latin America. Photographer: Mario Proenca/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Victoria police have released a mobile phone app to help them fight crime in the city, joining the Toronto police as the only two forces using an app of this kind in Canada.

The free app, called MobileVicPD, can be used to report minor crimes, offer anonymous tips to police, stay updated on crimes in progress, receive missing child reports or check on stolen property.

Const. Mike Russell with the Victoria police says the app is intended to save the community time, and the police department money.

"Certainly it's easier for our communication centre supervisor to go through ten to 15 reports in an hour," Russell said.

"Whereas it may take an officer an hour or 45 minutes to come out to your location, talk to you to gather the information, type out the report and then submit it."

Victoria police hope 5,000 people will download the app in the next couple of weeks, and aim to reach 20 per cent of the city's population within the first year.

"Once we saw this app and how it takes everything into one central location, it certainly was a no brainer and we wanted to be on board with this," Russell said.

The MobileVicPD app is currently only available on the Apple iTunes store. An Android version is expected soon.

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