New Kiwi-designed app a lifeline for small business owners fearing for their safety
Dairy owners have a new tool in their pocket to help protect them against violent crime.
The Android app Please Help was designed by Rotorua-based lecturer and Edutech owner Paramdip Singh and aimed at small business owners who were worried for their safety.
The free app records any noise within a five metre radius when launched, and shortly after sends a distress message to up to 30 elected contacts.
They are alerted, whether they also have the app or not, and shown the GPS location of the sender.
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Singh was inspired to use technology to help communities who struggled with dangerous crime.
There were no strings attached and those who did not like the app could simply delete it, he said.
"We have done this to help people feel safe and secure . . . if anything goes wrong this should be an element for protection.
"When I was looking at all these crimes, burglaries and robberies, I thought, 'Why not use technology?'"
In a recent aggravated robbery, masked men stormed the Kingsford Superette in Mangere, south Auckland, and held a machete to a worker's neck.
Owner Kamal Singh was devastated by the incident, which left the worker with bruises.
Kamal said he was keen to trial the new app and praised its creator's initiative.
"Any tool is good to have, anything that is going to help us," he said.
"It's good to have people thinking outside the box to bring new safety tools to small businesses."
There have been more than 400 aggravated robberies in south Auckland in the past year, according to TVNZ.
Auckland's Crime Prevention Group president Sunny Kaushal hailed the app as a tool of confidence for dairy owners.
"Before an incident can take any ugly shape there will be people and more safety from that point of view," Kaushal said.
"The owners or workers of dairies and shops will have a lot of confidence to know that somebody will be on their way."
Kaushal said everyone – not just the Government – had a responsibility to make communities safer.
It took just over three months for Edutech to develop the app and Signh aimed to have it available for iPhone users soon.