Mobile devices form an integral part of our daily lives and have the potential to be used as tools to curb crime. In recent years, many criminal activities have gone unsolved due to a lack of sufficient evidence to convict the perpetrators. Together with recent developments and advances in research, technology such as mobile devices (popularly known as ’smart phones’) is now capable of acting as devices for capturing real-time potential digital evidence. The continued advancement in the features of mobile devices such as photos, as well as video and voice-recording options, has enhanced their applicability as capturing devices for real-time potential digital forensic evidence. In digital forensic investigation, one of the challenges that law enforcement agencies encounter is to corroborate the findings at the crime scene with digital evidence of the crime. By using a mobile and portable device as a tool for acquiring real-time potential digital evidence in the form of photos or video and voice recordings, this challenge can be greatly overcome. The problem is that it is difficult to ascertain, the integrity of the captured digital evidence of a crime scene when using the advanced capabilities of these mobile and portable devices. The research in hand proposes an online neighbourhood watch (ONW) system that can overcome these challenges. The ONW system is a tool that can be used to acquire potential digital evidence (PDE) and preserve the integrity of the captured PDE. Access to the stored PDE in an ONW system’s repository is strictly monitored and controlled in order to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the PDE. The ONW system enables members of a community in South Africa to upload PDE of a crime scene in the form of audio, video and digital images to the ONW repository. The PDE is then made available to the law enforcement agents and digital forensics analysts to assist them in furthering investigations or in solving the crimes involved. The ONW system balances public safety with the privacy rights of the PDE generators and the possible offenders whose images have been captured. It takes into consideration the privacy policies, laws and ethics that may apply due to the devices’ generated metadata of users’ personal details, especially during a digital evidence presentation in a court of law.