Punjab Police tricked Chief Minister Usman Buzdar into inaugurating an old mobile phone application on November 4, whereas the Inspector General of Police Punjab Inam Ghani backed the claim on Sunday in a statement confirming that Punjab Police launched the women safety app.
Contrary to the claim, sources said the app had been released by the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) in February 2019 and not in early November, and was downloaded over 1000 times during the period.
Netizens have noted that the app can only be downloaded on android phones and is not available for other mobile phone operating system users.
Online users reviewed the app as early as January complaining of bugs that render the app useless.
“It is working smoothly for me but whenever I open the app it sends out an emergency message to my ‘emergency number’. It should only send this message when I press alert button. Please fix this,” Mahnur wrote on Google Play Store four days after the most recent inauguration.
On the other hand, appreciating the app the inspector general of police said that the safety app provides quick access to Punjab Police Emergency Helpline 15, Rescue 1122, Punjab Highway Patrol and Motorway Police after women register themselves on it.
“Besides Punjab Police important agencies like Rescue 1122, Motorway Police and Punjab Highway Patrol were also consulted during the development so that the protection of women can be ensured holistically, and women face the least amount of trouble in a difficult situation,” Ghani detailed.
He also highlighted that an awareness video has been released to teach downloading and usage of the Women Safety App to assist women in taking advantage of the online service.
“Women have also been granted access to a live chat facility to contact a police representative and they can also read different laws, awareness materials and documents available on this application,” Ghani pointed out.
“In case of an emergency, help can be sought from all the concerned departments in just one click. The app has been built to allow women to judge the locale through reviews and rate their own experiences as ‘safe, partially-safe or unsafe’ about a particular place so that other women can benefit from it too,” he added.
The top provincial cop expressed these views while talking to the officers regarding the launch and use of the Punjab Police Women Safety App.
Ghani asserted that Punjab Police is on a high alert for prevention of crimes against women and children, “Apart from the Women Safety App, steps will be taken on a priority basis to prevent such crimes.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2020.
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