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Vigilante Taxi Drivers Reporting Crimes over 3G Phones

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Taxi drivers in several Mexican cities have been fitted with equipement enabling them to send pictures and messages to the local police forces when they see incidents that should be reported. The communications are sent over Grupo Iusacell's 3G network.

Each message automatically contains the exact location of the incident, through GPS.

Emergencies reported range from car accidents and street fights, to broken public lighting and water leaks. The equipment has a special number for more serious events such as kidnapping and assaults.

Chiapas Governor Juan Sabines has delivered to date more than 5,000 Iusacell cell phones to taxi drivers, who have become efficient monitors of security, infrastructure and public services.

The government distributes the equipment for free, with 50 pesos of airtime every two weeks and 100 minutes per month of the Iusacell community service -- that allows for no-cost communication. The report service is included and doesn't affect the cell phone credit.

During the past six months approximately 10,000 reports have been addressed with the Taxista Vigilante program.

Chiapas, ranked as one of the safest states in the country by the National Security Index 2009, has maintained its position partly as a result of state of the art systems such as Taxista Vigilante. As a consequence of its success other states have shown interest in the program.

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Tags: iusacell  taxi  cell phone  Mexico