The first phase of the Namola security application has been given the green light in the City of Tshwane.
“Roll-out has started at Atteridgeville and Pretoria CBD. Once these areas are covered and Namola has been adopted there we will move out to the remaining regions,” Craig Rivett of Ever Africa told Fin24 about the launch.
The project, which bills itself as an “Uber for security”, initially worked as a smartphone application so that people could call for an escort when they felt unsafe.
It has evolved into a parallel communications channel where tablets in Tshwane Metro Police Department vehicles allow officers closest to an incident to notified and respond first.
The new location-based system has reduced crime response times.
“Average despatch times are reduced from two minutes 38 seconds to 11 seconds, a 13 times improvement,” said Rivett.
But plans for a smartphone application are still on the table, he added.
“We want to have all vehicle and all officers trained and actively using Namola by the end of November. We will only launch the user app once we are sure that the TMPD are comfortable with Phase 1.”
Namola has its roots in a Stellenbosch proposal to create a security application with armed response companies.
Partnership with local government has resulted in feedback loops designed to iron out kinks in the deployment of the system.
“We are also making minor changes and updates based on feedback we get from the officers on the ground,” said Rivett.
Emergency responder training has emerged as a key component of police delivery.
News24 reported recently that residents in Pietermaritzburg experienced problems with reporting crimes to the local police station.
Namola aims to bridge the communication gap by sending updates to responding officers, said Rivett.
Namola is a platform that will help create a bridge between emergency service providers. It creates a parallel communication system.