New South African app, Trrumpet, aims to help CPFs fight crime

JUNE 28, 2016

Over the last few months, ttrumpet, a South African developed multi-purpose app, has been actively working with the Community Police Forums (CPF) and Residents Associations across the country to connect individuals in real-time with their communities, to syndicate information and to keep themselves and their families safe.

Charles Murray, director at ttrumpet, recently visited East London to meet with CPFs and the Residents Associations in the region to discuss how technology is being used to bring communities closer together and keep them safer.

With so many citizens witnessing and experiencing almost daily incidents in their city – imagine the sheer volume and content that can be generated. One of the best ways to garner this information is through crowdsourcing – which involves engaging and enabling citizens to actively take a part in the fight against crime and by reporting suspicious activities or crime or vandalism by reporting information in real-time and in a convenient and accessible way using their smartphones.

And this is exactly what ttrumpet is doing within communities across the regions – including East London. Currently, ttrumpet, along with the CPFs already covers over 700km2 in the Pretoria region, covering an impressive 289 241 households - a number that grows bigger every day as new security channels join the platform.

RNews got an opportunity to chat to Murray about trrumpet and this is what we found out;

RNews: How does ttrumpet alongside the CPFs hope to bring communities together?

Charles Murray: The growing use of smartphones and the continuous expansion of social media, has given the ttrumpet platform the opportunity to evolve from a chat application to the advanced purpose-built platform it is today.

Following the launch of our community channels as part the platforms’ safety and security features - we saw a gap to expand our community safety efforts through the use of technology. As such, we have been working closely with our developers, various communities, CPFs and Security Associations to really bed down a solution that connects individuals in real-time by syndicating information to keep themselves and their families safe.

In fact, the platform’s security channel is now being used to provide updates to its communities, report suspicious activity, highlight the real crime hotspots and generate better community awareness and vigilance to assist the police.

In Pretoria and the Gauteng region, communities have actively come on board – where we are seeing a big growth in the region to use technology as a channel to providing relevant community information and we are actively meeting with other CPFs and Security Associations across the country – including East London – to expand the use.

RNews: Is the aim of the app to reduce crime? If yes, how?

Charles Murray: Yes, the aim of this feature on the app is to be an active medium in our fight against crime and ultimately result in reducing criminal behaviour. Our partnerships with the different CPFs and Security Associations are a step in the right direction as the communication channels created allow for constant updates on any suspicious movements in the area to help the relevant CPFs and Security Associations fulfil their roles better.

It’s important to remember that every community has a role to play in reducing crime - by sharing information and reporting incidents to their channel, local residents become the eyes and ears on the ground and with collective efforts, results will be seen.

The popularity and growth of smart devices has also birthed a digital generation, with an increase in app development to simply services and cater to different consumer needs, social media platforms growing by the day – all in the effort of making communication easier and more effective.

RNews: What has the response thus far been from the CPFs in East London?

Charles Murray: The introductory response in East London has been very positive and we are looking to build good relationships with the CPFs in the region. We have an open approach and are constantly looking for feedback from the CPFs and Security Associations in an effort to improve our service offerings.

The app is constantly evolving and our safety and security feature is a work in progress. We’re continually looking at ways to improve our offering to ensure that it really makes a difference to those communities using it to improve safety in their areas. The more CPFs and Security Associations we can partner with, the better.

RNews: For communities that don’t have CPFs – would the app still be useful?

Charles Murray: Definitely! Individuals can create their own community channel (with an unlimited amount of members) by just downloading the app, so the process and benefits would still be same, just without the CPFs and Security Associations’ involvement. However, security companies or patrol vehicles could be included or even the neighbourhood watch.

The objective of the safety and security element on the app is aimed at making citizens feel safer with the additional capabilities of measuring impact of crime with your area and to keep South Africa safer through technology. The platform is not a security app, but rather a tool used to connect individuals in communities. We’re also in partnerships with numerous Residents Associations across the country who are promoting the use of the app within their communities.

RNews: What is the aim for ttrumpet in East London?

Charles Murray: We believe in empowering South Africans and providing local solutions to local problems. Our aim is to make a difference. We have the technology and have built a platform that I truly believe can do this and through our engagements with CPFs and Security Associations in East London I hope that the benefits will strongly be considered for use going forward. 

Image: Charles Murray, director at ttrumpet, recently visited East London to meet with CPFs and the Residents Associations in the region to discuss how technology is being used to bring communities closer together and keep them safer.