Canadian law enforcement turn to QR codes for help in catching sex offender

Canadian Police Use mobile police technology

Canadian Police Use QR Codes
Canadian police have turned to technology to help them track down a known serial sex attacker in Vancouver. In the last few months, a number of women have been attacked after leaving the popular downtown nightclub district. Law enforcement has been able to obtain DNA evidence but has yet to establish any solid leads regarding the capture of the criminal. And so, the police have turned to the public for help. The police have begun putting up wanted signs all over the city. While not a strange tactic, the signs have one thing that makes them stand out: A QR code.

In fact, the entire poster is nothing but a QR code. It is the first time the blocky barcode has ever been used by law enforcement to track down a known criminal. So far, more than 300 posters have gone up throughout Vancouver, and police have been in constant contact with informants drawn in by the campaign.

When scanned, the codes resolve to a mobile website where they can find vital information about the attacker. Composite sketches and descriptions are available, as well as the description of two different vehicles that are thought to be tied with the crimes.


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Sergeant Matt Clarke with the Vancouver Sex Crimes Unit notes that younger people are being targeted in the attacks. “They have different lifestyles and habits and they consume media differently,” he says. “We want to find a way to reach them.”

Clarke believes that by using the QR codes he is giving vital information to the people that might be able to use it best in helping law enforcement catch the attacker.

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