Durban crime fighters develop app to alert authorities at the push of a button
Local Durban crime fighters have gone high-tech, developing a smartphone app that could save your life.
Pioneers of the Dawncliffe Neighbourhood Watch, Mike Myers and former policeman and Paul Stone, believe they have identified the major pitfalls of reporting an emergency.
"Simply put, people are not prepared for emergencies. They panic and don’t know who to call and in most cases they don't have the numbers readily available. Added to this situation is that during an emergency they are not in a position to make the phone call and almost always not in a position to make any follow up calls to find out where their help is," Myers said in an interview with News24.
The app, dubbed MOBI-CLAW, has already notched up a success in the first phase of its development after it's launch on February 1.
"Two weeks ago, we had an incident on the N3 highway near the Pavilion where a woman had run out of petrol. She phoned her son and as he arrived with petrol he saw a man attacking her in her car."
"He pressed the panic [button] and we managed to get everyone there and we had an arrest made in 13 minutes from the time the panic [button] was pressed," he said.
"By a simple touch of a button your mobile phone sends an emergency report to MOBI-CLAW control which includes your current location. Trained members then handle your emergency by co-ordinating first responders to get to you quickly," Myers said, adding that they had nearly 700 signed-up members.
Myers said that the application used the phone’s GPS to track your location, allowing those rushing to the emergency to find the potential victim.
"If you are kidnapped in a hijacking or your phone is stolen during a crime, we will be able follow your phone as long as it remains on. MOBI-CLAW will also handle your medical emergency reporting and your profile will include all your necessary medical data so that we can furnish this to any medical staff who are attending to you," he said.
"What makes our app different is that it is not just another mobile panic button, our app is merely a tool for our business, our business is handling your emergency from the time you press the panic button to the time we receive on authority that your emergency is under control."
The service costs per phone are: R100 registration and R45 monthly subscription, and the app is available from www.mobi-claw.com.