Dubai police are just an app away

The app, currently available only for Android phones, allows members of the public facing real-time danger to have a direct link to the command and control room.

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Dubai's police chief yesterday unveiled a new mobile-phone application that allows people to call up the emergency services at the touch of a button.

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim revealed the new system during a lecture at the Dubai Police Officers Club. The SOS (Save Our Souls) smartphone application sends a distress signal to the Dubai police command-and-control centre in the case of an emergency.

Developed by Dubai police, the app has been tested and will soon roll out for public use, Lt Gen Tamim said yesterday.

The app, currently available only for Android phones, allows members of the public in trouble or facing danger to have a direct link to the command-and-control room.

Lt Gen Tamim said the app has a large button at the centre of the screen that, when pressed, informs police of your details and GPS location, eliminating the need for voice interaction.

He also said that the application can be used with smartphones and house alarms by any member of the public, including senior citizens.

"We tested it out and it is a success," he said. "Now senior citizens, people with special needs or people in critical situations can immediately inform the command centre during any emergency."

Lt Gen Tamim said that the software programme had been developed to serve the needs of citizens inside or outside the city.

"It works for people out at sea, or in the desert - we even took it to remote areas and it is now in use there," he said.

A device for the home that serves the same purpose has also been developed with senior citizens in mind, the police chief said. It will be paid for and will soon be made available from Dubai police general headquarters.

During a lecture on leadership skills yesterday, Lt Gen Tamim pressed the app button and received a call back from the command centre in less than two minutes. The centre will call back in cases of an emergency, but will also attend the scene.