Community safety

Four electronic crime countermeasures are combined to increase the chances for criminals to get caught and decrease the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Three of these countermeasures will help you in your immediate environment and these are the panic button, watchdog and trip monitor. You will not be placing a burden on any family member for 99% of the time that you will be using these three countermeasures. Only in an event of an emergency will the people that you have set up to be alerted start playing a role. It is therefore imperative that the message that you set up that goes out to the people you wish to alert be so clear as possible about your situation.

Feedback

Any control system needs a feedback loop to function properly. The neighbourhood watch crime countermeasure supplies a wealth of information or feedback regarding the state of crime in a particular neighbourhood and from this feedback the necessary adjustments can be made to solve a particular situation that starts occuring. From the feedback that is supplied after the adjustment has been made one can see if the adjustment was effective or whether even the adjustment needs adjustment.

Remember that it is not only crime that is reported on this system but things like robots that are not functioning and potholes and that a municipality can for instance set up a WATCH LIST just to watch for reports on these items so they can get to fixing them more quickly. Feedback like this also makes the world a better place to live in.

Property values

People are sometimes worried about the decreasing value of their property when people outside of their neighbourhood watch become aware of the amount of crime in their suburb. This is tantamount to putting your head in the sand and hoping that the crime in your suburb goes somewhere else. If you use the crime countermeasures supplied here effectively, you will help reduce the crime in your suburb and this fact will also be noticed by other people not living in your suburb and because this information is available to everyone it will be perceived as accurate and the value of property will increase where people make sure there is no crime in their suburb.

So this tool is a very efficient tool to increase the value of property in a suburb when used effectively. A neighbourhood can always control the membership that belongs to their neighbourhood watch and in so doing help to keep the information about crime in their neighbourhood a secret. Just remember that shortKode is also a neighbourhood watch except that it spans the entire planet and we have no restriction on who can report information so if any neighbourhood watch member also reports it on the shortKode neighbourhood watch then it will be visible for the whole world to see.

Alerting people

All the crime countermeasures have their own set of people to be alerted because of the distinctly different situations where it is deployed. You will therefore have the option ALERTS to first set up a master list of all the people that you want to be alerted and then use the option SCHEDULE to add or remove people to alert for a particular crime countermeasure.

Assistants

A neighbourhood watch can appoint assistants from the community to assist in moderating incoming incident reports. The need for moderation of reports is important so that moderators can first follow up on incoming reports to establish its authenticity and accuracy and to remove any typos or undesired language before a report is approved and becomes visible to every member of the neighbourhood watch. The option ASSISTANTS will only be visible on the mobiles of the neighbourhood watch owner and any assistants appointed of type ADMINISTRATOR.

Use ASSISTANTS to set up a master list of ASSISTANTS and then use SCHEDULE to indicate which assistants is on duty at that moment that must moderate incoming incident reports. Assistants can be of type USER or ADMINISTRATOR. Assistants of type USER will only see the option MODERATE additionally on their mobiles but assistants of type ADMINISTRATOR will see the same as the neighbourhood watch owner (BOT owner) namely SETUP and MODERATE. So only users of type ADMINISTRATOR can add or modify other assistants.

Use ADD to add a new assistant and tap on an existing assistant to EDIT or DELETE it. Use DEPARTMENT to indicate the function of this assistant. This becomes important when other users wish to contact an assistant and you want users to contact the right assistant. Use MSISDN to type in the mobile number of the assistant in international format. Use NAME for the name of the assistant. Use TYPE to toggle between USER or ADMINISTRATOR because assitants of type ADMINISTRATOR have the same rights as the neighbourhood owner. Use USERNAME to type in the Telegram username of the assistant. Every Telegram user can go to their user settings in Telegram and select a unique username so other users can chat to them by locating them by username rather than mobile number. This functionality is used when other members of the neighbourhood watch wish to chat to an assistant. Use FREECALL to toggle between ACTIVE and NOT ACTIVE to indicate whether it is possible for an assistant to receive a toll-free call from a neighbourhood watch member. The neighbourhood watch's free call facility needs to be set up for this functionality to mean anything.

Setup

Every crime countermeasure has a setup although several options have the same interpretation.` Use MESSAGE to set up the message that will be sent to all the people that you want to be alerted. This message will give them an idea of your situation and will help them decide how they should help you. Use NAME to set up your name so that the people that you alert know who this message comes from. Your mobile number will be displayed in brackets also to help them determine who sent this message. If no NAME is set up, only your mobile number is included in the message.

Tapping LOCATION toggles between ACTIVE and NOT ACTIVE and is used to determine if your location is sent in the alert message or not. If LOCATION is ACTIVE, you will be prompted for permission every time you press the LAUNCH button for the panic button for instance.

The watchdog and trip monitor requires a PIN to cancel the timer and you can therefore use CANCEL PIN to set up the PIN you want to use to cancel a timer. Use DURESS PIN to set up another PIN that you can use if someone forces you to cancel the watchdog or trip monitor at gunpoint for instance and then everyone will still be alerted silently and the response from our system will still appear as if the timer has been cancelled normally.

Panic button

The primary use of the panic button is to alert a preset list of people of an emergency situation that you may find yourself in. The people you alert will then first try to contact you to find out what your emergency is and if you pressed the button by accident and then act on this information. The LAUNCH button is used to trigger the panic button.

When you have selected PANIC BUTTON you can use SETUP to set up the necessary credentials and you can use LAUNCH to trigger the panic button. If you have set location to be active you will always be prompted to confirm revealing your location.

Anti-hijack watchdog

The concept here is to set a timer when you are still within your safe zone, such as while approaching the driveway of your home but still a few minutes away. The timer then starts counting down and when it lapses it will send you a reminder to cancel it. At this point the timer starts counting down again and when this timer lapses all the people you have set up to be alerted will be alerted. There is virtually no way any criminal can circumvent this watchdog once it has been set in place by you and by using it you will be setting a trap for any criminal that is waiting to surprise you. Create trips with variable delays that will remind you repeatedly to cancel the trip monitor during long or short road trips. Failure to cancel a reminder will alert all the people you have set up to be alerted so they can come to your rescue.

When you have selected WATCHDOG you must use ADD to create different events with different descriptions like ARRIVING HOME, LEAVING HOME, ARRIVING AT WORK and LEAVING WORK etc. These events describe the different situations you want to cater for. Every event has its own DESCRIPTION, DELAY, CANCEL DELAY and MESSAGE you must set up. The DELAY is the amount of time that you allow yourself to safely complete an event and you trigger it with the LAUNCH button while you are still in a safe zone. The CANCEL DELAY is the time that you allow yourself to cancel the reminder that we send to you after the DELAY has lapsed. If this CANCEL DELAY lapses we can only assume that you have encountered some form of crime and everybody you have set up to be alerted will then be alerted.

After you have added an event you can just tap on it to expose a few other functions. Use LAUNCH to trigger the timer for this event. If you have activated location you will always be prompted to confirm to reveal your location. Use ALERTS to set up all the people you want to alert just for this specific event. Use EDIT to modify its description, message, delay or cancel delay. Use DELETE to remove this event. Use CANCEL to type in your PIN or DURESS PIN to cancel this event and silently alert everyone.

Trip monitor

The trip monitor is a repeating watchdog timer and is ideal for long distance trips (and even short trips) to relieve the burden on family to check up regularly on loved ones on the road for long periods. It is like a pilot filing a flight plan before a flight and if something goes wrong, people will know more or less where to start look for the plane. In this case this 'flight plan' can be filed silently and will only be revealed to other people if some disaster is encountered.

At the start of your trip a timer will be triggered and expire after a preset time that you have set up. You will then be reminded to cancel this timer and another delay will count down. If you cancel this timer in time, it will be triggered again and this process will repeat until you end your trip. If you fail to cancel a reminder, all the people you have set up will be alerted and your entire trip log will be sent to them so that they can build a picture of what happened to you and formulate a plan to rescue you.

When you have selected TRIP MONITOR you must use ADD to create different trips with different descriptions like PRETORIA TO CAPE TOWN etc. Every trip has its own DESCRIPTION, DELAY, CANCEL DELAY and MESSAGE you must set up. The DELAY is the amount of time that you want to be reminded regularly to cancel and you trigger it with the LAUNCH button at the start of your trip. The CANCEL DELAY is the time that you allow yourself to cancel the reminder that we send to you after the DELAY has lapsed. If this CANCEL DELAY lapses we can only assume that you have encountered some form of disaster and everybody you have set up to be alerted will then be alerted.

After you have added a trip you can just tap on it to expose a few other functions. Use LAUNCH to trigger the timer for this trip and use END to end this trip and stop all reminders. If you have activated location you will always be prompted to confirm to reveal your location. Use ALERTS to set up all the people you want to alert just for this specific trip. Use EDIT to modify its description, message, delay or cancel delay. Use DELETE to remove this event. Use CANCEL to type in your PIN or DURESS PIN to cancel this trip while silently alerting everyone.

Neighbourhood watch

A neighbourhood watch is a collection of people, usually an entire suburb, that decide to subscribe to an entity where they share information on some communications platform such as WhatsApp about crime in their suburb so that they can do something about it. With this crime countermeasure we can add a lot more sophistication because the communications platform is Telegram and we can sort crime reporting according to category and subcategory. This makes it possible to search for specific types of reports but also to set up a WATCH LIST that can notify you of only specific categories and subcategories of reports that is of interest to you. Reports are also sorted according to COUNTRY, PROVINCE, CITY and SUBURB. When a new incident is reported and successfully moderated every member of the neighbourhood watch that has set up a watch list that satisfies the parameters of this incident will be notified with a Telegram message.

Use REPORT INCIDENT to report an incident. The DATE with time will automatically be logged at that moment although you can change it. Then use CATEGORY and SUBCATEGORY to allocate your incident in such a way that it makes sense to everyone. Then use COUNTRY, PROVINCE, CITY and SUBURB so that incidents can be sorted and easily retrieved by users. Use LOCATION to mark the exact location on you mobile phone if it has geolocation capability so that Google Maps can be used by users to get a better picture of the incident. Use DESCRIPTION to type in a description of the incident taking note that no profanity or discrimination will be allowed. Use PICTURES to upload pictures of the incident if applicable. When you add pictures, you can supply a DESCRIPTION, a CAPTION as well as a POSITION where this picture must appear in the the list of pictures if there are more than one picture. Use STATUS to change the status of the incident that you are reporting from EDIT to MODERATE to indicate that you are finished reporting the incident and that you now request your report to be moderated by the owner of the neighbourhood watch that you belong to.

Use REPORTS to view all reports from the neighbourhood watch that you belong to. You can fill in all or just some of the parameters like CATEGORY, SUBCATEGORY, COUNTRY, PROVINCE, CITY or SUBURB depending on how wide you want to search for incidents. Use SEARCH to launch the search and wait for the results to appear. The results will appear in pages of 5 items per page and you can page through the results. Tap on an incident to view details such as the description or pictures.

Use WATCH LIST to set up a list of incidents you wish to be alerted of when they become available on the neighbourhood watch. Once again you can for each list fill out all or some of the parameters like CATEGORY, SUBCATEGORY, COUNTRY, PROVINCE, CITY or SUBURB. Every time an incident is filed and moderated successfully by the neighbourhood watch owner you will receive a Telegram message describing the incident.

Neighbourhood watch owners will see 2 more options that will not be visible to their members and that is SETUP and MODERATE. Use SETUP to set up a list of assistants that will help in the moderation of incoming incident reports. These will usually be trusted members of the community. Just as with alerts you will set up a master list of ASSISTANTS and then use SCHEDULE to indicate which assistants is on duty at that moment that must moderate incoming incident reports. Assistants can be of type USER or ADMINISTRATOR. Assistants of type USER will only see the option MODERATE additionally on their mobiles but assistants of type ADMINISTRATOR will see the same as the neighbourhood watch owner namely SETUP and MODERATE. So only users of type ADMINISTRATOR can add or modify other assistants. Users that are allowed to moderate reports will receive a notification that there is a new report waiting to be moderated.