A ‘panic button’ to alert cops nationwide

SHAH ALAM: Victims and witnesses to crimes such as snatch theft, robbery, rape and abduction will be able to alert police by just tapping their smart phone.

Bukit Aman is planning to roll out a “panic button” smart phone app, following in the footsteps of Selangor police’s MyDistress and Johor police’s Community Alerts (CommAlerts) mobile apps launched in 2011 and last year respectively.

While these apps are limited to users in both states, the new one will be accessible to smart phone users throughout the country.

The operation of the system is simple: As soon as the SOS function is activated, police from the nearest station would be sent to the scene.

“Once the ‘panic button’ app is rolled out, the MyDistress and CommAlerts apps will no longer be in service,” Federal National Key Results Area (NKRA) secretariat chairman Comm Datuk Ayub Yaakob told a press conference at the Selangor police headquarters yesterday.

Its key features include an “Emergency Contact” function to allow police to alert the next-of-kin in emergencies and an “Info-Blast” function through which users can access press releases issued by the police on crime cases in the state.

It will also have a “Message” function, available in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil and Chinese, allowing users to send text messages directly to the command centre in case of emergencies and a “Vehicle Profile” function enabling users to key in the licence plate number of a vehicle during emergencies.

Comm Ayub said police were also studying the possibility of implementing a dedicated phone number for people to contact the force view publisher site.

“It will make it much easier for everyone to remember one specific phone number,” he said, adding the most suitable personnel would be selected to operate the phone lines.

Comm Ayub said police had also engaged international consultants Frost and Sullivan to evaluate the level of public satisfaction towards the force and public perception on safety.

“The firm will undertake an independent study. We are open to receive any findings of the survey to be conducted in two phases.

“The first would be done from now until the end of the year while the second would begin in 2014,” he said.

On the Crime Prevention Department, he said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar would reveal more details early next month.