Neighborhood Crime Watch - Help & FAQs
What is Neighborhood Crime Watch?
Neighborhood Crime Watch (NCW) is an app named after neighborhood watch programs. It lets you to quickly take pictures, spot the location of suspicious activity and share the details with your neighbors and law enforcement. The pro version allows you to save the alerts in a "log book" for future reference. You can export and import alerts to sync between all of your devices and other NCW Pro users.
WARNING: THIS APP IS NOT INTENDED FOR EMERGENCY PURPOSES. PLEASE CALL 911 OR LOCAL POLICE IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY.
This app is not affiliated with USAonWatch or any law enforcement agency.
A neighborhood watch program helps you effectively watch your neighborhood. It is neither a substitute for police protection nor a platform for taking the law into your own hands. It is designed to supplement police patrols by residents becoming the eyes and ears of law enforcement.
Three main principles of neighborhood watch are:
1. getting to know your neighbors and watching out for them.
2. watching out for your neighbor's property.
3. reporting suspicious or illegal activity to police immediately.
What is the difference between Neighborhood Crime Watch & Neighborhood Crime Watch Pro?
Neighborhood Crime Watch Pro is an ad-free version of the Neighborhood Crime Watch app with several additional features. The free version doesn't have a log book where you can save the alerts for future lookup. You can also export and import alerts between all of your devices and other NCW Pro users using the Pro version. Pro users can import alerts from free users but not vice versa.
Where are the pictures saved?
The pictures that you shoot from this app are saved in the same directory as the other pictures that you shoot using the default camera app. They are typically stored in the internal storage of your device or an external SD card.
How do I review the pictures from more than a week ago?
You can review the pictures taken directly from within the NCW app by clicking the thumbnails in the home screen. If you want to review the pictures from up to 6 months in the past then change the 'View picture' setting in the settings menu. Additionally you can review all the pictures using the default gallery app as well.
How do I share the pictures?
Once you have taken pictures you can click the share button and select the pictures you want to share with others. You can also the share details of an activity without attaching any pictures.
How do I delete the pictures I don't want to keep anymore?
You can delete pictures by clicking the thumbnails in the home screen and use the delete option in the gallery.
How do I spot and share the location of a neighborhood activity?
Once you click the spot button in the home screen, the app tries to spot your location using the device's GPS, cellular or wifi network. If it fails to find a location in 20 seconds it alerts you to manually spot your location on the map. Once you identify either your location or the location of the activity by clicking the spot on the map, then click the spot button underneath the map to save the location in the memory. It will be available for you to share using the share button. The location is shared as a hyperlink to Google Maps website. You can clear a spotted location from the map screen at any time.
How can I share additional details about my neighborhood watch?
In addition to the pictures and the location, you will be able to describe the activity by typing in the details. You can enter the date and time of the activity, the details of the persons and vehicles involved in the activity as well. Once you have entered all the details you can click the send button to share them via email, sms or other online tools.
Are the details saved anywhere on the device?
The NCW free version doesn't save the activity details inside the app. However you can save them as a draft email from within your email app. Separately, the pictures taken by NCW app are saved in the gallery.
Are the details, pictures and location shared with anyone other than the recipients I choose?
No, the NCW app doesn't share the details with anyone. It merely formats the entered information in an email for you to share it with the recipients you choose.
Can I save the details and location on my device without sharing with anyone?
Yes, in the Pro verison you will be able to save the details in the app. However in the free version you won't be able to save the details inside the app. In order to save the details and look up later consider upgrading to the Pro version available at the Google Play or BlackBerry World stores.
When I attach pictures the "Send using..." dialog shows fewer options. Why?
The options that are available to share depend on the apps installed on your device. Not all apps support a single attachment or multiple attachments. So you will see a difference in the number of available options when you attach pictures.
What is the alert.json file attached for in the outgoing email?
All the alert details including the picture file names are stored in the alert.json file as an attachment. Your email recipients will be able to import the alert.json file directly from their email app into their NCW Pro app. You can remove the alert.json file if you don't want it from within your email app before sending it.
When others send you NCW alerts you can import their alert.json file attachment directly from within your email app. You can also download it to a folder on the external storage and then import it.
How do I save the watch details in my log book?
After you have shared the details of an activity from your email app, return to NCW Pro app and click the Save button. This will save all the watch details to your log book. From the log book you can review and edit the saved details. You'll be able to share the details again with others without having to re-enter them.
What is a log book?
Log book lets you review, edit, share and export saved watch details from within the app. It also lets you import watch details from other users. You can use it to synchronize your watch details between multiple devices by exporting and importing one or more alerts. You can access it by using the Log button in the home screen. Log book is only available in the Pro version.
Can I create new entries in my log book without sharing them?
Yes, you can create a new entry in the log book without using the send option. Remember a neighborhood crime watch is more effective when you share the details. You will have the option to spot the location again and attach pictures when creating a new entry.
How do I view, edit or share the entries in my log book?
You can click on the entry in your log book to view its details. You can also share the entry with others using the send button, or edit the details using the edit button.
How do I change the spotted location in my log entry?
From the log book screen click on the entry you wish to edit. In the detail screen click on the edit button to edit the details. In the edit screen click on the Edit location link (or Spot location link) at the top to add or remove a location. Once done click save button to save all the changes.
How do I add or remove pictures in my log entry?
From the log book screen click on the entry you wish to edit. In the detail screen click on the edit button to edit the details. In the edit screen click on the Add/Remove link in the Picture(s) attached section to add or remove pictures. Once done click save button to save all the changes.
How do I delete entries in my log book?
You can select one or more entries and use the delete option in the log book.
How do I import entries into my log book?
Use the import button from the log book screen to select a file from your device's external storage. You will have the option to launch a file manager app to choose a .json file. Using a file manager app (like ES File Explorer app) navigate to the folder where you have saved the alert.json (or a similar file). Selecting the file will display the number of alerts in the file requesting confirmation to import them. You can continue to import the alerts or cancel at that point. Once imported the alerts will be displayed in the log book screen.
The imported entries don't have any pictures in them. What do I do?
The import feature only imports the picture file names from the .json file. It doesn't import the pictures themselves. After you import an entry you will have to edit it to remove the missing pictures using the Remove links option. You can add the pictures that came in the email by saving them to your device and using the Add/Remove option in the edit details screen. These steps are necessary because picture files are stored in different folders in different devices.
Why do I have to manually link the pictures to newly imported entries?
The manual steps are necessary because picture files are stored in different folders in different devices. Automating this step could lead to not linking the correct pictures to imported entries. NCW Pro gives you complete control over where to save the pictures when you download them from an email app and link them from any saved location.
This manual process is also necessary because there is no server involved in sharing or syncing the alerts between users and devices. They are entirely handled via email from one user to another or from one device to another. NCW Pro users can import alert.json from NCW free users and link their pictures as well.
How do I export entries from my log book?
You can select one or more entries and use the export option in the log book. The default export file is [external_storage_path]/NCW/alerts.json which you can change in the dialog box. Once exported you can use an email app to attach and share multiple entries with other users and devices. You will have to manually attach the pictures to your email for them to be linked later.
How do I contact support?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and feedback. All emails will be responded within 24 hours.