During the first three months in which the GPNW and Avenue Response have supported the Buzzer security app in the Atlantic Seaboard area Buzzer has shown promising results.
Over 600 people are using Buzzer in the Green Point, Three Anchor Bay and Mouille Point areas (Sector 1) and we understand that there are nearly 2,000 users in Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay (Sectors 2 & 3).
Nearly 160 incidents of criminal and suspicious were reported by Buzzer users in Sector 1 during the period from July-September. These reports led directly to the arrest of the suspects in two of the cases and also led to the recovery of stolen property in others; the GGPNW would like to thank Avenue Response, our partner monitoring the incidents being reported, for their fast response in these cases.
The GPNW EXCO will be evaluating whether the GPNW should continue to license Buzzer in the Atlantic Seaboard area in 2021; the monthly license fee of R2,700 is a major challenge that the GPNW will have to deal with.
Original Piece From the October 2020 Newsletter:
Committing to pay for Buzzer to be fully supported in Green Point, Three Anchor Bay and Mouille Point was a major step for the GPNW. Jacques Weber had been instrumental in arranging for the area to be “unlocked”, but the GPNW EXCO believed that, if the app was going to be of real benefit to members of the community, it needed to be fully supported and monitored at all times.
The GPNW signed a licensing agreement starting in June, and we were able to get Avenue Response to agree to host and monitor Buzzer’s Control Room module. This represented a significant financial commitment on the part of the GPNW; the monthly cost in license fees is R2,700. We want to thank all the GPNW members who have paid their 2020 membership dues – YOU are supporting Buzzer in the area.
We took the decision to try Buzzer for a six-month period, and to then decide whether it was worth supporting and whether the GPNW could afford the cost going-forward.
We believe that the app has proven its value as an additional channel for members of the public to report crime. There has a steady increase in users in the area with a total of 611 people who have installed the app on their phone.
A total of 159 incidents have been reported from June-September; we are able to confirm that at least 88 of there were reports are confirmed reports (some reports were from people testing the app, and no details were provided for others so we do not know whether these were real issues.)
The number of false positives seem to be decreasing, with at least 70% of the reported incidents being confirmed incidents in September.
The response to all of the confirmed incidents was good to excellent, from both Avenue Response and from other users who responded in app to the reported incident.
More importantly, Buzzer directly led to the arrest of at least one suspect, led to the recovery of stolen property, and recently saved a user from a GBV incident that could easily have turned out worse than it did.
Buzzer will not replace the Crime & Emergency WhatsApp group; each channel has its advantages and disadvantages. Rather we see Buzzer as an additional channel for reporting criminal and suspicious activity to be used side-by-side with the C&E alert group and GPNW’s Radio Network.
But there is no question that supporting Buzzer in 2021 will be a financial challenge; EXCO is exploring ways in which we can raise contributions from Buzzer users who are not GPNW members and from local businesses.
If you are not a Buzzer user please download it and install it on your smartphone.