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'Whistleblower' app wants Poles to report local nuisances and petty crime

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By Euronews and AFP
Sygnalista encourages users to report petty crimes and infringements.
Sygnalista encourages users to report petty crimes and infringements.

An app that lets smartphone users inform the authorities of petty crime or anti-social behaviour has been launched in Poland.

Sygnalista (Whistleblower) allows users to easily report or document evidence of activities such as fly-tipping, parking illegally in a disabled space or animal abuse to the relevant authority.

Users can remain anonymous but will be encouraged to identify themselves to give more weight to the information, according to its creators Bartosz Kubacki and Wlodzimierz Burliga or software firm EON46.

The application will help citizens find the right institution among around 2,500 in the database.

The two entrepreneurs acknowledged that their invention was likely to be badly received in Poland, a country that had undergone Nazi occupation followed by nearly half a century of communist rule and whose traditional culture takes a dim view of informants.

"We expect a wave of hatred" online, Kubacki admitted, insisting that he wanted simply to “encourage civil society to react to malaise … to denounce what we wish to stop in our society.”

The provocative advertising slogan is: "Do good, speak up!"

The basic version is free, but the computer company, which also plans to produce computer games, is preparing an upgraded version for profit and launch version in France and Germany or Scandinavia.