Mumbai: Women will now be able to step out with greater confidence in the knowledge that the police are just minutes away – seven minutes, to be precise. Mumbai Police is launching a new safety app for women called Pratisaad (response), which they claim will ensure cops can reach a woman in distress in seven minutes or less.
The app, which is the brainchild of state DGP Pravin Dixit, is due to be launched in Mumbai this week. Efforts are on to implement it in rest of the state as well. Pratisaad is said to be better planned than the department’s earlier app, In Case of Emergency (ICE). The older app was launched in January 2013 after the Delhi gang rape in 2012 but it failed to catch on with the public because of several glitches.
“The new app is very accurate and will give the exact location of the distressed woman and the shortest route to her. However, there are still some issues that need to be ironed out. If it works, this will be very helpful for women. But it should be maintained well, unlike the earlier ICE app, which had several problems like registration, technical issues, etc.”, said DGP Pravin Dixit.
The app will also have a much more sophisticated process. For instance, the older app would simply send the woman’s approximate location to the emergency contact numbers saved by her. However, Pratisaad will not only find the accurate location of the woman but will also point out the shortest route there. This information will be sent directly to the police .
Women will first have to download the app and register. Each account will be verified by the police and the user will have to keep their phone GPS switched on while using the app. Thereafter, the process is pretty similar to that used in taxi apps. “A woman in distress can click on the emergency icon in the app and cops will reach her in less than seven minutes. At least ten police officials from the local police station will be notified of her distress call,” said a senior crime branch officer.