Namola is an integrated phone app that alerts South African police of crime activity via mounted smart phones.
South Africa has attempted to implement several crime-fighting apps over recent years, including apps like OurHood and Spottm. But Namola is the first of its kind to directly integrate with police authorities, making it a real-time dispatch and alert platform.
Specifically, Namola is being piloted with the Tshwane Metro Police Department to test the waters and give residents a faster way to alert police of an issue.
Dubbed “Uber for Police,” Namola launched in early May 2016. During the initial rollout phase, the service will only be available in the capital city Pretoria and surrounding metro areas, primarily due to the large free WiFi initiative that was rolled out in the region.
Benefit of Namola VS 911
Many are considering Namola the next 911. But is Namola better than the already widely-used and established emergency service?
“The Namola app doesn’t create new infrastructure. It merely provides a new mechanism for the citizens of the City of Tshwane to alert nearby responders,” says Craig Rivett, partner in Ever Africa. This concept is a major player when it comes to the risk and benefit of the app. For one, you don’t have an expert emergency agent querying important information about the crime. In addition, it leaves anyone in the public open to calling on the police for any type of “crime” they deem fit. The result could cause people who are truly in need of police assistance to miss out on a quick response due to officers being tied up in other areas. While there are many wonderful ideas around the concept, and the fact that the local metro is embracing the technology, only time will tell how well this app can aid responders in saving lives or preventing crimes. Until then, most South Africans are happy to know that they have their local officers on speed dial.