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News : Uber for Speedy Cop Call-outs Helps Fight Crime in SA’s Capital City
Tshwane, South Africa, May 13, 2016 -- If you have a smartphone‚ you can immediately and anonymously share GPS coordinates of crimes in progress with the Tshwane Metropolitan Police.
An app locates the closest officer and dispatches them to the scene.
The system‚ known as Namola - a Tswana word for "intervene" – is described as "Uber for police" by developer Craig Rivett.
The app went live in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality last month. The launch followed a pilot project in the Monument Park area in February.
Tshwane Metropolitan Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba expressed satisfaction with the app‚ saying it had "tremendously" reduced the response times of the metro police officers whose cars had been fitted with the device.
"What happened previously was that a member of the public had to call the police with the details of the crime. Then a call centre will dispatch a vehicle‚ which will then attend to the crime scene.
"With this app‚ the member of the public can use the app and is linked to a nearest police vehicle‚ with a dashboard-mounted smartphone‚ which will assist him immediately‚" Mahamba said.
Mahamba said the metro police aimed to fit all its vehicles with the Namola devices by the end of June.
He said the control room has sight of all the response vehicles and it could send messages to all or selected officers.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, May 16, 2016