New app launched to help neighborhoods fight crime

A monitoring camera installed outside an apartment

iPolice, a smartphone application which enables easier communication between neighbors and the police, is expected to aid faster detection of crimes and criminals throughout Ulaanbaatar.

Residents of a residential area can form a group on, and connect to the police through the application. Any video or photo of activities that might cause danger to the environment can be uploaded on the application, which will then be submitted to the police. Officials believe that this aids faster operations for police officers in stopping and preventing crimes, and in catching the culprits. Since the capital authority can’t equip all apartments around the city with monitoring cameras, the smartphone application is believed to be a more effective tool in preventing crime in the city.

The neighborhood monitoring and supervision system on launched in January. The website has registered over 1,800 residents. Over 800 neighborhood supervision groups have been created to date. The system enables cooperation between neighbors to improve the overall security of their environments.

For instance, residents of 5th khoroo in Chingeltei District have created a neighborhood supervision group and have installed 54 cameras in 24 apartments. The residents claimed that they saw a decrease in local crimes as a result of the group. Residents of 6th and 7th khoroos in Khan-Uul District have installed cameras in their neighborhood as well and placed Camera Monitoring Zone signs on streets, which they believe prevents crimes.

In January, a monitoring camera video of a 74-year-old woman being dragged down stairs after an attempt to stop her robbers from stealing her bag was uploaded online. The video recording allowed the police to arrest the culprits. The police viewed that crimes in apartments without cameras were not decreasing and many of the culprits were getting away, and decided to build an online system to address the issue.

Since 2016, 101 instances of robbery and affray were recorded in the capital. Most of these crimes took place in apartment lobbies and hallways.