Nigerian Police Prepare App to Fight Rise in Violent Crimes

Nigeria police checkpoint.

The Nigerian police are preparing to launch a mobile app which it says would help in its fight against the rising crime wave in the country.

At least 35 people were killed nationwide last week, as Nigerians continue to grabble with insecurity, alongside the insurgency in the North-east.

The app, called police-VGS, is in its test-running stage, the police said on Saturday via Twitter.

The police said in a promotional video that the app would help citizens do quick reporting of crimes like kidnapping, robbery, cultism, rape and domestic violence to the police.

The app would be helpful even where there is communal unrest, the police said in the video.

"Within five seconds of reporting, the appropriate government security or emergency agency would be alerted and help would be deployed immediately," the video claims.

All that a citizen would do is to "swipe" the police-VGS app on his mobile phone when a crime, fire, medical emergency or natural disaster occurs, and then "policemen would be alerted immediately and help would be sent your way promptly".

The app would be available on IOS and Google play store.

Some Nigerians, apparently prompted by the promotional video, have been visiting the Google play store for the app which has not been released yet.

One Nigerian who gave his name as Peter Osagie said he downloaded a similar security app called Smart Police while he was searching for the Police-VGS app.

"It is only in this country that you advertised what is not there. After referring people to so-called app, it could not be found," said another Nigerian, Ibrahim Yunusa, who stumbled on the Smart Police app, while also searching for the Police-VGS app.

"The Police-VGS App is part of broader technological tools being deployed by the Nigeria Police to smartly combat crimes in the country.

"It will soon be formally launched by the IGP and thereafter made available for public use," the police said on Twitter, using its official handle @PoliceNG.

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