Hout Bay residents created a security app that integrates private security firms and neighbours to fight crime in their neighbourhood in 2019. Now the app, Buzzer, is available for everyone in Cape Town to download.
The app, which was built by an Israeli tech company, has an SOS and panic feature like most safety apps. What sets it apart is that once the alert is sent, the signal goes out to local private and voluntary response teams and to residents of the area where the incident occurred.
“We started searching for what we were convinced should be available out there: a system that could keep an entire community safe and connected and attuned to the (South) African more informal dynamics. Lo and behold: it didn’t seem to exist!” said creators Keri Cross and Jessica Boonstra on their blog.
According to Cross, when she moved to Hout Bay, the area was experiencing roughly 30 violent robberies a month.
As a result, Cross and Boonstra organised a workshop which included representatives from the local Hout Bay Community and local emergency responders to design the outline of the app they needed.
Since launching they have responded to 16 fires, 25 crimes, 29 medical incidents and 83 suspicious activities through the app.
All Capetonians can now download the app through their website.