In an attempt to improve the response rate of the police during emergencies, a group of students from diverse backgrounds at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, have developed a mobile application software that makes it easy to reach out to the security agencies during emergencies.
This application software gives a Global Positioning System (GPS) location and real-time updates of the user, and the developers hope it will help in fighting crime.
Response to emergency situations particularly by Ghana’s security agencies has not been the best due to a myriad of challenges, ranging from inadequate personnel to having to go through heavy vehicular traffic.
The group, Tek Devisal, is made up of students from Engineering, Physics, Arts, Computer Science, and Business administration among others.
The Team Leader, Stephen Boakye Frimpong, says they had observed a lot of security concerns in Ghana in recent times, hence their motivation to develop the app to offer some solutions.
The app, according to the students, could contribute immensely to reducing kidnapping, armed robbery attacks and all forms of criminal activities.
Stephen Boakye Frimpong says what makes the app different from other apps is that; it is designed to improve safety.
“Looking at security issues like kidnapping, armed robbery and anything about our safety. It is designed to improve our safety because it will be linked with our security agencies”.
Aside from contacting the security agencies to come to one’s aid within the shortest possible time during emergencies, this app also helps institutions, agencies and various groups to track the operations of their members.
Gyasi Anim, a Computer Science student who helped design the app explains how it works:
“The app that we have developed is made up of three sections- the user, administrator, and the driver. Users can be anybody in society having access to the app. For now, we are working on mobile devices because of financial issues but in the future, we intend to add other devices like laptops. For users, for example, when the Takoradi kidnapping cases came up, a distress signal could have been sent to the police and other security agencies so they come in and avert the situation faster”.
The group says they have prepared a proposal which is yet to be presented to the Ghana Police Service to ensure smooth collaboration and implementation.
The group is also developing the app to ensure that it can be used even without the internet.
They are thus making arrangements to liaise with telecommunication companies to install specialized SIM cards to be used by drivers, especially those working with institutions or groups for their movement to be tracked.
This is also to help security agencies to be notified during emergency situations as well.
The patron of the group, Dr. E. A Xemalordzo, a KNUST Lecturer at the School of Business, who is excited to see his students come up with the idea, said the University has offered to support the students with a well-furnished ultra-modern office space with desktop computers to aid their activities.
He, however, said the group is handicapped financially; and is thus appealing to investors to partner with them to scale up the idea.
“Currently, the University (KNUST) plans to put up an ultra-modern office for this project so that they can have a place that they can do their work in the right environment- computers, tables and necessary equipment that will be needed for their work are being taken care of by the University. However, support may be necessary for us to pilot the devices. So we are open to any support that may come to enable us to update the app to include a wider society”.