Pretoria police launch app to combat crime

By Drum Digital
15 February 2017

Tshwane police have launched a new app to improve their response time to emergencies.

The South African Police Service has launched a new app to improve their response time to emergencies.

The Namola pilot project, which is an application for mobile devices  to instantly send out emergency alerts to police officers, has been launched at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria.

Brooklyn SAPS Captain Colette Weilbach explained that once an alert has been sent, the nearest Brooklyn SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police Department vehicles that are Namola app compliant, are able to see the exact location of the incident.

“The first available officer is then directed to the incident while being monitored by the control room, which has the ability to intervene if necessary,” she says.

“While on route to an incident the officer is able to receive messages from the citizen and phone them if they need more information.”

However, Weilbach tells DRUM that the app is not a substitute for calling 10111 in an emergency situation.

“The purpose of the app is to enhance all crime-fighting resources.  It gives community members another tool with access to the police during emergencies,” she says.

Brooklyn Station Commander, Brigadier Kushie Nair, says taking advantage of current technologies will make great strides in improving reaction time for the police and to create safer communities.

“Community members can be important participants in crime-fighting by reporting crimes in progress or crimes that have just occurred,” she adds.

Weilbach says fortunately there have not been any emergency alerts in the first week that the app has been active, and warns that criminals will not be able to fool the police if they want to use the app to lure the police to false emergencies.

The success of the project could see the app being rolled out in other parts of the country.

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