The use of mobile apps has made life simpler and safer for the citizens of Singapore. From reporting a theft to lodging a police complaint, Singaporeans have never felt more safe thanks to their mobile phones.
From making calls to controlling the TV, mobile phones have evolved from communication tools to utility tools. Mobiles have changed lives to adjust to the fast-changing environment and lifestyle. Mobile apps have become a necessity and mobile app developers are constantly improving the quality of their apps. The government launched a range of apps to serve the people in a more efficient manner.
In the last five years, very few apps have been developed that address the security of citizens. The Police@SG is one app, launched by the Singapore Police Force, that is helping people by the thousands. The app has been successfully used to catch criminals and this gives hope for other app developers. Let’s look at some of the reasons why dedicated apps for security is important.
- Safety comes first. For any country, the safety of its citizens should be the number 1 priority. Mobile phones are increasingly being used for improving lifestyle and communication, then why not security?
- Faster service. There are times when police personnel arrive at the scene of the crime a little too late because of locating the exact spot. Mobiles can easily solve this problem. If a witness or the victim sends the exact location to the nearest police station, police officers can be on time to prevent a crime.
- Educating people. It is very important for people to know what measures the government is taking to stop crimes. Mobile apps can keep people informed of the various developments within the police department and what new measures are being taken to improve security.
- Making people aware. Mobile apps can be used as a networking site to bring people together and keep a community safe. If every citizen looks after their neighborhood, crime rates will drop drastically.
- Prevention of crimes. In many cases, the police arrive after the crime has happened. With the use of mobiles apps such problems can be avoided and lives can be saved.
Let’s look at some of the frequently used apps for fighting crime.
Your iphone could be the next big thing for fighting crime. The Police@SG, a mobile app, is the latest offering from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to keep the country safe from crime.
The mobile app was launched in October, 2011, at a digital lifestyle event in Singapore. Apart from the SPF, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore and the National Family Council (NFC) were also present.
Police@SG is currently available on iphones and plans for extending it to android and other platforms are in progress. You can download the app from iTunes. The app has a ‘Crime Info Map’ that shows crimes like theft and robbery which can be prevented. It also shows statistics report about crimes in the neighborhood.
In the section for missing, you can find information about people who are missing and with the help of police station locator you can lodge a complaint. The locator helps you locate the nearest police stations with respect to your current location. You can also act as a witness in an ongoing police investigation under the section for police appeals.
The Police@SG is not entirely dedicated to preventing crime; it is also used to help people with different needs. The app provides a list of useful numbers of different agencies and the matters they handle. If you don’t know where to call for a certain issue, the numbers listed might come in handy.
The idea of Police@SG was conceived in 2010 after eight months the app was ready. Even though the app is very successful, app developers are still trying to improve the service. iPhone is used by a lot of people in Singapore and so starting the app on iPhone was the natural choice.
Along with the Police@SG, another app called PoliceLife@SG was introduced at the same event. The PoliceLife@SG app centers around the developments of police officers and provides links to different social media sites.
i-Witness can be used separately or in conjuncture with Police@SG. Through iwitness, users can provide the police information about crimes, offences and other problems in the society. It works something like a social media site where users can submit photos, videos and text files directly to the iwitness site or through Police@SG. Some useful enhancements for the app are available and users can take advantage of them.
The second app called CallPolice was a joint collaboration between five students and the Jurong West Neighbourhood Police Centre. The app was released at the Singapore Polytechnic’s annual Project Showcase.
Nicolas Wee, one of the five students said that most of the time people are unable to describe their surroundings when they call the police. This is due to panic and stress which is quite natural. The caller describes things around him and this leads to miscommunication. One of the highlights of CallPolice is that it eliminates such unnecessary issues and focuses on the crime.
Nicolas also added that the app can activate a shrill alarm to grab other people’s attention. This is a practical feature for when someone gets harassed or tries to avoid someone. A simple shake of the phone and the alarm gets activated.
The other team members include Lee Wei Yan, Claris Tham, Tng Xin Kai, and Deswanto.
The CallPolice may not be as famous as the Police@SG but Singaporeans are finding the app useful and this app is sure to gain popularity in the coming years.