A crime reporting software that can trigger multiple alerts to warn members of the public has been created in Runyenjes, Embu town.
The helpline smart card can trace the crime victim’s location, identity and release SMS alerts and tweets to help broadcast the crime to those following the network.
Amos Njeru, a software developer, said the helpline receives queries in the county where the crime occurs which speeds up response.
To access the service, one has to purchase a Sh100 smart card which enables a toll free service.
The Kenya Polytechnic graduate said in the event one doesn’t have the local county helpline number, you can send an SMS with the name of the county to the indicated number.
The system then responds by providing the appropriate hotline.
“Once you make the call, it goes through a speedy caller screening system which will reveal caller one’s identity.
“The police officer who will receive it will actually refer to you by your real name. The police will also record the nature of the crime and trigger off an SMS that will send tweets,” said Mr Njeru.
According to him, the system is an ideal way to deal with crime as it cannot be abused since police can trace the source.
Mr Njeru, 35, holds a Higher diploma in Statistics and Information Technology and developed the software from a model security system in New York and North Carolina after which he spent two years developing his own.
He presented the idea to Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo, who advised him to first try the software at a rural police station.
To install the gadget, the county requires Sh1million worth of equipment which Mr Njeru said can be realised through member registration and funding from county governments.
“It is a community policing project and I encourage members of the public to support it so that it can serve them. It is cheaper than when one installs alarm systems and CCTV cameras. For Sh100 we can reduce crime,” he said.
Embu police boss Gasper Makau praised the project saying that, if embraced, it will make fighting crime easier.
“It will help members of the public participate more in crime fight. Having word out there that a crime is happening would intimidate criminals,” he said.