The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has partnered with Happimo organisation to launch a safety app, which helps with the response times of law enforcement agencies in getting to crime scenes.
The app known as “Namola”, which means “To help out” in seTswana, is designed to improve the alert and dispatch times to under a minute.
This is done by enabling residents with cell phones to immediately and anonymously share their GPS coordinates of crimes in progress. Similar to the Uber system, the app locates the closest officer and dispatches them to the scene.
The app only operates on Android smartphones, but there are expansion plans for the application.
Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said the technology is made up of three elements, namely: a user app for citizens to request assistance, a tablet fitted in response vehicles for quick alerts and response, and a call centre operation based at the relevant despatch office to validate alerts.
She said the pilot project with Gauteng Traffic Police will initially see 20 vehicles fitted and using this system.
This, she added, will contribute immensely in the fight against crime and ensure that Gauteng citizens are and feel safe.
“This innovation should be applauded because for some time there has been an outcry by certain members of our communities about the delay in response time to crime scenes and emergency incidents but I am excited that with the implementation of this innovation that will be the thing of the past,” said MEC Nkosi-Malobane.
The MEC has assured that they are ready to pilot the project.
“As Gauteng traffic police, we are ready to pilot the project. We have already installed the application in our fleet, test runs have been conducted, a control room has been set up at our head office and it’s fully functional.”
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