South Africa has some of the highest crime rates in the world and public confidence in the police there is extremely low. Frustrated residents say police don’t react quickly enough when a crime is committed, but that may soon change — thanks to a new mobile phone app that’s been dubbed the “Uber for police.”
The developer of Namola says the app aims to cut the average police response time by streamlining communications between citizens reporting a crime, police on the street and the department’s central control room.
So, if someone falls victim to a crime, they activate the app and an alert is sent to the force’s control room with the user’s GPS coordinates. The system locates the closest officer and dispatches them to the scene.
The app has been installed in 135 police cars already. Quartz reports, that the technology is only available right now in the capital city of Pretoria and the surrounding district.
Namola has received mostly positive reviews, but some users have pointed out a few glitches.
One wrote: “Insane battery drainage, seems to be keeping the GPS on full tile (30% of all app and hardware usage.) Sadly uninstalled until this is fixed as a dead phone can’t call for help.”
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