Press ‘panic’ button and Chandigarh’s women safety app insists: ‘All is well’ | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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Press ‘panic’ button and Chandigarh’s women safety app insists: ‘All is well’

The purpose of the app, developed by a private company for the police, was that women get police help if they shake their phone in a specific manner or press a panic button.

punjab Updated: Dec 08, 2017 10:03 IST
Ifrah Mufti
The Smart 24x7 Personal Safety app has been downloaded 50,000 times, and still has a rating of 4.3 out of five stars.
The Smart 24x7 Personal Safety app has been downloaded 50,000 times, and still has a rating of 4.3 out of five stars.

What happens when you press the panic button, literally, on Smart 24x7 Personal Safety app introduced by the Chandigarh Police two years ago? Well, either it crashes, or this message greets you: ‘All is well’.

Open the app through the Google Play store and there are hundreds of complaints and negative reviews stating that the app has glitches. Here are some:

“It crashes all the time, the moment I open!”

“It is a wastage of time to press the panic button; the app keeps asking for a verification code.”

“It is very slow; no response to the panic button.”

“No response to the feedback and emails sent!”

This is alarming particularly at a time when Chandigarh has witnessed a series of incidents of crimes against women; the latest being the gangrape of a 21-year-old woman by an auto driver and two co-passengers.

The UT police launched the app in 2015, but very few women lodged complaints through it. Sources from the police department said people directly call 100. The app has been downloaded 50,000 times, and still has a rating of 4.3 out of five stars.

Police do not have record of complaints registered through this app. Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Nilambari Vijay Jagdale, however, said, “We are working on a new version of the app, which will be available soon.”

Last year, UT administratorVP Singh Badnore urged police to generate awareness about theapp. Recently at a press meet, MP Kirron Kher said the app, which was introduced for the safety of city women, needs to be reintroduced.

The purpose of the app, developed by a private company for the police, was that women get policehelp if they shake their phone in a specific manner or press a panic button.It allowed users to feed five primary contacts. Also, if the internet is not working the alert is supposed to be generated via SMS.

However, when this correspondent installed the app after registering her phone number and pressed the panic button from the Sector-20 market, there was no alert or call from the customer care as promised. Rather, a message kept popping up on the app: ‘All is well’. Also, when the reporter tried to feed numbers, the app crashed.