See someone break coronavirus measures? Now you can report them through an app

In the past couple of weeks, it’s not hard to spot people who are clearly breaking the restrictions in place to contain and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Well, if you felt like you wanted to take matters into your own hands (which are washed, of course) you’re in luck. Now you can report people who break these rules through a phone app, according to NOS.

MyMunicipality apps options for reporting rule-breakers

In North-Holland, two municipalities, Purmerend and Beemster give MyMunicipality app users an option to submit reports about broken streetlights and that kind of stuff. A new report-category is now activated strictly to limit the spread of coronavirus.

So far, 132 reports have been made through the apps, mostly about groups of three or more people roaming the streets and/or not respecting the distance of 1.5 meters.

What makes the app so efficient is that the report reaches the law straight away, so they can also act faster upon the issue rather than making a phone call that can take longer.

Other municipalities have also implemented a similar category in their app, and another alternative is to call at a specialised police number for these types of issues — 0900-8844.

What about just talking to the people in question?

Obviously, the more preferable option is that you just address the people who break the measures, rather than reporting them outright.

If you do choose to talk to them, there’s a few things you should keep in mind. Carsten de Dreu, Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology at Leiden University, suggests that you should avoid being too blunt in your tone (obviously, a bit of bluntness is expected in the Netherlands) That’s because people who are confronted with their mistakes aggressively are less likely to implement any sort of behavioural change.

A better way of addressing them is by resorting to their common sense and empathy, such as telling them something like ‘I’m worried about my elderly mother, could you help me by keeping a bit more distance?’ That way, they are less likely to lash out at you for confronting them, while also adjusting their behaviour accordingly.

Reports also made for commercial crimes

People have not only reported social distancing or group misdoings, but so-called commercial crimes as well. This includes businesses that are still open, such as bars that bring their clients through the backdoor, gyms that are still operating, or even brothels.

So far, 90 such cases have been reported to the police.

Should a coronavirus crime category be added to all local municipality apps? And it this being a good citizen or just a bit too much? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: natureaddict/Pixabay.

Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.


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