Mobile phone users in the country can soon download an Android-based application on their smartphones to send a distress signal (at the inconspicuous press of a button or a swipe on the screen) to the nearest police control room in the event they feel threatened or get lost.
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) here has developed the application which, it said, it would integrate with police control rooms in the State soon. For starters, the C-DAC would implement the system as a pilot project for the Jaipur police in Rajasthan in December.
Law enforcement agencies in other States can seek Union government-assistance under the Nirbhaya scheme, which has a corpus of Rs.1,000 crore to support initiatives to ensure the safety and dignity of women in public places, to implement the project in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Crimes on the rise
The project has assumed significance in the light of increasing crimes against women, children, tourists, and senior citizens, such as Tuesday’s brutal attack on a bank employee hailing from Kerala inside an ATM kiosk in Bangalore.
B. Remani, executive director, C-DAC, said the application, which could also be integrated into a wrist watch or carried as a handy electronic personal safety device, was designed as a first level of protection for people, particularly women and children, who were relatively more vulnerable to crime.
Once the devices were electronically integrated with the law enforcement’s control and command centres, the police in control rooms would be able to pinpoint the location of the signaller on a digital map of their respective area of jurisdiction and also, simultaneously, know the victim’s name, contact details, and even, view their image.
The police could also track the movements of the “victim” in real time, and direct the nearest police patrol vehicle to the spot. The system would automatically plot the shortest route to the victim’s location to guide the patrol vehicle assigned to the distress response task.
The application could be configured to automatically transmit sounds to the police control room once the mobile phone user initiated the distress signal.
The C-DAC would soon open a portal for people to register themselves and download the application. They would be required to send an SMS to the portal for administrators to authenticate their stated identity.
Mr. Remani; senior director Simon Zachariah; associate director K.V. Sundaram; joint director Kalaiselvan Alphonse; and joint director T.P. Muhammad head the project.