A new smartphone application released last month by the New York City Police Department brings the fight against crime in the city's five boroughs into the palm of your hand.  

Available as a free download through Apple's iTunes Store, the app lets users submit crime tips, read breaking news, and view a gallery of wanted suspects.

A map feature also means users can scan through New York's boroughs for precincts boundaries and police stations. A click of an icon on the map representing a police station quickly pulls up their phone number.  

While the NYPD hopes the app will inform and engage citizens, it also comes at time when thefts of Apple products in the city have never been higher.

In 2012, the city is reported to have had 3,890 thefts of Apple hardware, a total representing more than the full-share of New York's 3.3 per cent rise in major crimes for the year.

"If you just took away the jump in Apple, we’d be down for the year," Marc La Vorgna, the mayor’s press secretary, was quoted as telling the New York Times.

In July of 2012, Toronto police and Crime Stoppers unveiled what was being called North America's first crime-fighting application.

The Toronto app is very similar to New York's and includes a map for finding police stations, wanted list, and a feature for sending tips to authorities.