There is no shortage of organisations trying to stop crime in South Africa.
Police, community policing forums, armed responders, vehicle trackers, insurers, camera installers, banks with armoured trucks, telco’s trying to protect high-sites, neighbourhood watches… and many more.
With everyone involved, we don’t need more police officers. We certainly don’t need another emergency phone number that only works in Cape Town.
The way we should address crime in South Africa is by coordinating the organisations and people who are already involved in crime prevention, protection and crime fighting — no matter what logos they wear on their sleeves.
Namola is South Africa’s most downloaded, used and highly rated emergency response app. For over 350,000 people it is the alternative to 10111.
In the last 30 days, Namola has received 11,000 test and real alerts.
The 2,300 of them that were real have an average user rating of 4.9 out of 5. That’s a satisfaction score of 98% for often life-threatening alerts from every corner of SA.
Since going live, there have been 12 real alerts via Namola per 100 registered users (11.8%). This extremely high incident rate is because many of Namola’s alerts come from witnesses, not victims. It’s an aggregation of eyeballs.
When someone presses the “request assistance” button, the software automatically determines which of 5,000 verified-volunteer responders with the Namola Watch app, private security providers (Namola Plus only) or law enforcement is the most likely to get there first.
It not usual for a person to trigger their at-home alarm system and Namola at the same time, and very often Namola gets help to them faster.
Namola is also starting to get smarter. The introduction of new AI that analyses historical data, real-time trackers and inputs from partners means that Namola is beginning to identify issues before the people who are being affected can request help manually.
This intelligence and the ever-increasing number of users, independent companies providing inputs and available responders on the ground mean that Namola will continue to get faster, more accurate, and will start to prevent and deter crime from happening in the first place.
And I believe that Namola is the start of this future.