PETALING JAYA: Public willing to pay RM2 for speedy police response
MEMBERS of the public generally have no qualms about paying RM2 for speedy police response.
Taking the matter of “MyDistress” to the streets, The Malay Mail asked around for opinions on the new smartphone application that was co-developed and introduced by the Selangor police for SOS calls during robberies, assault and even kidnapping.
The application works by transmitting a smartphone’s Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates directly to the police.
Bernard Morais, 50, of Bukit Jalil, said the platform could help reduce crime and make people feel safer in having direct communication with the authorities.
“It’s an improvement from the Rakan Cop SMS initiative,” the business executive told The Malay Mail.
“By using GPS, the police’s response time would be faster and I’d pay for that,” he said.
Kelana Jaya resident Ting Sher Ling, 25, who runs an online business, said she wouldn’t mind paying for the service as it would enable people to help others in distress.
“If a person being attacked does not have this option to reach out for help, at least others can play their part,” she said.
“Having such access would help me feel a lot safer when outdoors.” Sukri Murad, 25, an operations support officer from Sri Kembangan said the application would be handy in emergency scenarios if no one was around to help.
“But it would depend on the situation of course. I have a friend who became a snatch theft victim earlier this year but the police were unable to catch the culprit,” he said.
There were also some who had reservations about the new technology.
Surinder Singh, a 42-yearold security consultant from Kinrara, said while he would not mind paying for MyDistress, he would prefer to see how the application works and how effective it is.
“It all boils down to how well police respond to SOS calls. You can have the most advanced technology but if the people working behind it are incompetent, then it defeats the purpose,” he said.
Surinder said the public also need to be educated so they would not misuse the platform to raise false alarms.
“Imagine if there were too many prank calls. Cops may eventually not take distress calls seriously,” he said.
He also voiced his concern for people and if they would be in the right frame of mind to immediately reach for their phone in stressful situations.
The application, which took a year to develop, will be available for free within eight police districts in Selangor until January when it would cost RM2 monthly.
Smartphone users can download the application, from http:// mydistress.net/main.
The application is compatible with Android, Apple, Blackberry, Java and Symbian smartphone systems.