Mobile safety watch

Project Goal

Conceptual design of a mobile application that facilitates people to report minor crime incidents in order to improve neighborhood safety

Research Question

How to stimulate people to actively contribute to a safe and pleasant neighborhood?

Project Description

Researchers, teachers, and students performed desk research combined with context mapping with Neighborhood Watch-members to investigate determinants of reporting minor crime incidents. Results were used as input for the design of various mobile app- concepts that people can use to report unsafe situations. Principles of Persuasive Technology (interactive technology to change human behavior) were incorporated into these concepts.
Based on an expert meeting and brainstorm session, the concept was fine-tuned into the final concept, called “DogWalk”. This concept was first paper-prototyped en subsequently a working prototype was tested in a realistic setting in two neighborhoods. Results showed that compared to similar technology, this app is very promising due to its local functionality, short communication lines, and direct feedback.


September 2010 - June 2011

Funded by

CELL (Creative Experience Learning Labs)

Project team

Remko van der Lugt Fenne Verhoeven Arjan Haring Marieke Zielhuis Laurens Vreekamp Nathalie Waser Coen Steenhuisen (student PDE) Lotte van Riesen (student PDE)


Minor Mobile Business Design (HU)


Utrecht Police department Dutch Center for Innovation and Safety Dutch television program “Opsporing verzocht” Various Neighborhood Watches


Explore Conceptualize Prototype