KOZHIKODE: If you want to get a personal security cover round the clock, just install the app “Citizen Safety” developed by the Kerala Police’s IT wing.While it will be officially available for download in Google Play Store next month, iPhone users will have to wait a little more. It is for the first time the Kerala Police is launching a comprehensive app that offers public key policing facilities.
“We’ve done in-depth research to develop the app, which should meet the expectations of the public. Right now we’re taking feedback from people to offer additional features,” said Superintendent of Police J Jayanath, who is handling the project.
Jayanath said the app has a special feature wherein the user can enable the police to watch his/her travel. Apart from the SOS button that connects the caller immediately with a policeman at the headquarters, it has a messaging facility linked to an officer in the control room.“The tracking facility is added to help women and other lone travellers. With it, the police control room will monitor a user’s movement. Suppose a woman travels to her home alone in an autorickshaw at night.
She can make use of the facility. Police will watch the vehicle’s movement and if there’s any suspected deviation on the route, the control room will get in touch with the user to ensure that everything is fine,” the officer said adding the tracking feed will also be made available on a real-time basis to two other persons authorised by the user. To become the app’s registered user, one needs to send his mobile phone number through the app and authorise it with an OTP.
The app also has a “help a buddy” facility, which will enable a person to help his/her friend, a relative or family member. If your relative is travelling alone in a train/cab to a place and you want to ensure his/her safety, then the user can send the details of the train or vehicle through the system along with the traveller’s mobile number. The control room will be in touch with the traveller on a regular basis and provide updates to the registered user. The app also enables them to send videos and photos of law violations and crimes.
Though senior officers are of the opinion that the Kerala Police should launch an official YouTube channel to air the videos sent by people on incidents to ensure transparency and prevent attempts to sabotage the cases, RTI activists feel such a system should be introduced only after thorough analysis in the wake of Supreme Court order on Right to Privacy.“It’s a welcome move the police want to ensure transparency in putting such videos in public sphere. But it’s a sensitive matter. Police should post videos only after ensuring that it doesn’t violate a person’s Right to Privacy,” said RTI activist and lawyer D B Binu.
In Google Play Store next month
While the app will be officially available for download in Google Play Store next month, iPhone users will have to wait a little more.