Dairy own­ers prais­ing new dis­tress app

Central Leader - - EDUCATION & TRAINING - BROOKE BATH

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.

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, ac­cord- ing 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.

MATT BOWEN/STUFF

Auck­land’s Crime Pre­ven­tion Group pres­i­dent Sunny Kaushal hailed the app as a tool of con­fi­dence for dairy own­ers.

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