Armed Robbery is a common occurrence in South Africa, and 2016/2017 statistics reveal that it is on a steady increase. Businesses and households are both vulnerable to these attacks and it is therefore imperative to not only know how to avoid an armed robbery from occurring but what to do if you are ever involved in one
- The key to your safety during an armed robbery is cooperation. Remain calm and cooperate with all demands made by the robber(s).
- Do not make eye contact with them. Keep your head down at all times and do not look at them.
- Only activate an alarm or panic if you can do so secretly. If you can’t do it secretly then don’t do it
- Tell the robber(s) about anything that might surprise them, such as you are expecting company soon
- If you have to move, tell the robber what you are doing so that he is not threatened by your movement
- Try to obtain as much detail as you can, in terms of race, age, sex and anything unusual such as tattoos or scars. This can be difficult when avoiding eye-contact with the robbers, but it is important to take note of anything that may be helpful
- When the robbers have left, do not get up immediately. Wait a minute or two before getting up
- Stay calm, speak clearly, and stay on the phone until the emergency operator tells you to hang up
- Tell the emergency dispatch operator where to find the person needing emergency care, who is hurt or sick, and what happened.
- The emergency operator will also need to know what condition the victim is in and if any help is being given.
- Give the exact location of the emergency. Point out any landmarks – nearby intersections, bridges, and buildings that will help the ambulance crew find you. (Namola uses GPS technology we will use this moment to confirm the location for accuracy
- The system already captures your name, location, and telephone number in case the emergency services operators need to get back in touch with you
“When I leave for work every morning I am in constant fear. My maternal instincts say that I should not leave the baby with the nanny, I want to protect her, I should be with her all the time, but I know I have to work so that she has a good life,” Shanice Bucktwar – Namola User.
We would like to thank Shanice for sharing her experience with us. This safety hero is part of a number of South Africans who are contacting us to give us feedback on the app and tell us how we can improve. To show that we listen, Namola is introducing the Emergency Contacts feature, which allows users to not only send an emergency request directly to the Namola Response Centre, but to also notify up to 5 of their own pre-selected Emergency Contacts, keeping the contacts updated when the user receives help
In a country where homes are being targeted in the afternoon, were the abuse of children by nannies is being published on social media, and with a crime rate that continues to soar, families are fighting to get solutions that will keep them safe.
Every week we share stories from our users and how they are using Namola. This week we are sharing a story of three generations of women taking power back from criminals.
In a telephone interview, the single mother of one, Shanice told us how Namola had become a source of hope for the different generations in her family. From the grand-aunt to the mother, to the granddaughter, families are taking a stand against crime. This is her story.
There was a hijacking that took place outside my complex and this was a wake-up call for me. This has not only made me feel uneasy, unsafe and afraid, but my family and friends are also worried about my safety,” she said.
“Being a single mother you are always afraid that criminals see you as an easy target, someone who can always be portrayed as weak simply because baby’s safety will always come first.”
“Last month, my aunt shared the Namola video on our family WhatsApp Group and encouraged all of us to download the app. I immediately downloaded the app and also pleaded with the Nanny to download it as well so that if anything happens to my daughter and her during the afternoon they can easily request assistance using the Namola App.”
“Initially, when the post was shared, my family members started raving about it and I felt left out as I had not downloaded the app, however, my aunt explained that this was going to be a tool that I needed to help protect my baby and me. She understood my fear of leaving the baby at home with the nanny. My baby and I live alone and my work hours are crazy, which means no sleep and more guarding at night, well, until I was introduced to Namola. This has resulted in major fatigue where now I sleep peacefully knowing assistance is a mere tap away.
The part that had shocked me most about Namola is when I decided to do a Test with it. I requested assistance and to my amaze – the call center agent had called back within seconds – HOW AWESOME IS THAT.
I am now a proud raver and supporter of Namola.
Her words of encouragement and the explanation from the Namola Response Agents help alleviate my fear. I now feel safer not only as a woman but as a mother as well as a daughter, knowing that we can all use Namola to get emergency service responders at a touch of a button,” added Shanice.
What is your Emergency?
In an emergency situation, an exact location with accurate victim particulars and incident detail are vital in ensuring a quick response. When under the stress of a crime situation or medical emergency, these details very often get miscommunicated or lost in translation. Namola exists to solve this problem, providing you with the best possible assistance when you or those around you need help the most.
Through our easy to use application, using the power of your GPS enabled mobile device, we can drastically improve the quality and accuracy of information delivered to an incident relevant network of responders nearest to you.
What is the Namola Watch?
In addition, we are now offering a new and innovative Namola Watch package for the security conscious. Namola Watch provides a dispatch of trained people to come to your aid immediately after you hit the panic button. Our Namola Watch network consists of law enforcement officers, reservists, neighborhood watches, CPFs, etc. across the country. Whenever an incident is reported through Namola, the nearest Sentinels are alerted with an accurate location and incident details so that they can respond. How can you get involved?
If you are a member of a safety initiative such as a neighborhood watch or a CPF, or an officer or reservist, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll sign you up to our Namola Watch network to receive alerts about incidents in your area.
And even if you’re not, you can help us and your community by spreading the word about Namola and asking your local neighborhood watch or CPF (or even friends in law enforcement) to get in touch with us.
Does Namola Cover Remote areas?
We understand and fully appreciate the gravity of the special dangers facing farmers. In rural areas that are far away from the nearest police station, Namola might not always be able to get police out as speedily as we’d like. (Not for lack of trying!)
Farm Watches can choose to join Namola Watch, which allows Farm Watches to receive emergency notifications in their area. This is to ensure that even if SAPS don’t have the resources to deal with an emergency, the community’s own safety initiatives can take over.
If you know of any Farm Watches that might want to get involved, please ask them to get in touch with email@example.com, and we’ll get them on board.
Namola empowers communities to take back power from criminals.
One last thing.
Namola is a communication tool to better manage emergency response. Namola is not, however, the police or any other official emergency service, so if in doubt, please use the below emergency contact details.
Emergency – Ambulance (10177)
Emergency – Cell phone (112)
Emergency – National (10111)
In some places, Namola alerts go directly to officers. In other places, our control room will get hold of 10111, the fire station, EMS, traffic, etc. on the user’s behalf, depending on the need. In all cases, Namola has a dedicated command centre operator assigned to each incident who makes sure the user gets the assistance they need from the relevant authority and who is there for the user every step of the way.
Having said that, Namola is not a magic bullet that fixes all the myriad challenges with public emergency services in our country. That is precisely why we’ve developed Namola Watch. In many cases, communities are doing a great job putting structures in place to keep their communities safe and work around the challenges with e.g. SAPS not having adequate resources to deal with every incident as efficiently and speedily as we’d all like.
We’re also exploring ways to tie private armed response into our network, for those who want additional peace of mind.
“BOOM!” This is an expression we get to hear from Jerome every time he receives good news in the office. Good news is hard to come by when you work for a safety app.
Jerome has been a Namola Response Centre Manager for the last six months. He is one of the voices callers hear when they press the Namola panic button
Call centre respondents deal with emergency calls from the public and make sure that the right help gets there as soon as possible.
Namola is an app that helps you receive emergency assistance when you need it the most. Namola provides a unique approach to improving safety and security and allows for multiple stakeholders to work together. Jerome and the team, help coordinate stakeholders who are interested in fighting crime in South Africa.
Jerome found himself working for the Safety app when he saw a job opportunity with the tagline, “Do you want to contribute to making a difference in South Africa?” After working in a call centre as a debt collector, he knew that he needed a change. He wanted to be part of initiatives that helped people so that he could make the world a better place for his wife and two children.
“Working for Namola has changed my life. I have started to value time, especially the seconds because working for the safety app has made me realise that it takes seconds to change someone’s life” says Timotheus.
Last month, Jerome had to use the panic button to call emergency services when he witnessed an accident. And this is what he had to say
“I could not be more proud of Namola. As I was driving to work, I witnessed an accident happening, so I pulled to the side and rushed to help the victims. I immediately reached for my phone and used Namola to reach out to my colleagues.”
He added, “The response was swift, I explained what was happening, and after a while, emergency services rushed to the scene. A fire truck, police vehicle and ambulance came to the scene. With just a click of a button, we were able to get assistance.”
As he narrated his ordeal, one could not miss the beam of pride from his eyes, “I immediately started encouraging everyone to download the app from the scene and explaining how it works. Everyone seemed to be impressed by the call I got from the call centre checking if the emergency services had arrived.”
“With Namola, our priority is not only helping citizens access emergency response services during a time of need, but we also pride ourselves in caring for the communities and people who use the app every day!”