SAPS collaborates with Namola and Memeza in fight against crime in Diepsloot
SAPS Diepsloot has taken the lead when it comes to using technology to intensify their efforts in the fight against crime. Today they announced that together with Memeza and Namola, they have been piloting a combined technological effort that sees’s local residents getting police assistance that is faster, more accurate and more accountable than has ever been possible.
Diepsloot has been a long-time testing ground for Memeza. Over the last few months, they have donated thousands of alarm systems to households within the community that, when triggered by a motion detector or a handheld panic button, send an SMS to the local SAPS station and Sector Police vans. The nearest Sector vans are then able to go straight to the scene, while the home owner is called.
“The Memeza initiative has been very successful to date. It has seen a meaningful drop in crime and an improvement in the relationship between the residents of Diepsloot and the police.” Said Brigadier Moichela, the Diepsloot Station Commander. He added that he is very excited about the extension of this pilot with project Namola.
Namola is the world’s first operational “uber for police” service, currently live in the City of Tshwane with the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD). In Tshwane citizens can use the free Android and IOS application to share their GPS coordinates with their nearest TMPD vehicles. The first available officer accepts and is directed to the users’ location using a tablet mounted within their vehicle. A control room monitors the location of all alerts, vehicle locations and direct communication between the officer and the user. Namola can improve vehicle dispatch times from a fast dispatch time of 2 minutes to under 15 seconds.
For the SAPS Diepsloot pilot, Namola devices will be installed into SAPS vehicles. When a Memeza alarm is triggered, the closest vehicles and the live monitoring maps at the station will be notified. The vehicle will be dispatched while the station calls the homeowner to verify the alarm. If it is a false alarm the alert will be canceled and the responding officer notified. If it is a genuine alert the responding officer will be sent information on what to expect. Additional vehicles will be dispatched if necessary.
Namola improves communication and accountability through integrating alerts and responses onto real-time tracking maps. All could-be-victims are called by the station to get information on what the officer should expect when he or she arrives on the scene.
“This pilot makes Namola more accessible to communities where smartphone penetration is low but feature phones are everywhere”, says Katekani Baloyi from Namola. “Our aim is to help all citizens get police assistance when they need it, faster. By working with the high driven people from Memeza and the committed officers from SAPS Diepsloot, we’re given a new opportunity to learn and understand how Namola can be updated and tailored to the needs of all South African citizens and crime fighting organizations.”
Tshwane Metro Police Department Chief, Steve Ngobeni, stated that “The TMPD are proud of how our world first innovation is being used by our partners at the South African Police Service. One day it will help promote greater collaboration between all law enforcement agencies.”
“Memeza is excited to announce our partnership with Namola and believe that by integrating these innovative technologies, the South African Police Service and Tshwane Metro Police will proactively curb crime. Diepsloot Police Station has a dedicated team of officers and management, keen to see how technology can help the community. On completion of this pilot, we look forward to joining hands with Namola and deploy the integrated solution to other communities”, says Thuli Mthethwa CEO of Memeza.