My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Ministry of National Security's Stay Alert App is Prankster's Summer Toy of 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why Ministry of National Security's Stay Alert App is Prankster's Summer Toy of 2016

The Ministry of National Security is now marshalling the power of smartphones in its bid to fight crime.

They've recently launched a Stay Alert App which is basically a crime reporting tool on your smartphone as reported in the article “Stay Alert App”, published Sunday, June 26, 2016, The Jamaica Observer

The App, which is available on the Google Play Store and already has seen between 10,000 to 50,000 installations, is basically a Panic Button for your smartphone. It requires your phone number to activate the “Panic Alert” function.

Google Logo

It's also got four (4) distinct sections, as show in the image above:

1.      Alerts
2.      iReport
3.      The Laws
4.      The Panic Mode

By the way, don’t press that Panic Button, as it’ll only call the Police. Why do I get the idea that this App, which wasn’t well thought out or designed, will create more problems for the Jamaican Police than what its intended to do; help fight crime?

Stay Alert App – Summer App for teenagers pranking the Ministry of National Security

You can already figure out the Panic mode, so I’ll skip that!

I suspect that this Panic Button on an App might end up being used to prank the Police in much the same way they already make prank calls to 119 as noted in “Non-Emergency Calls Clogging 119 System”, published January 19, 2016 By Shelly-Ann Irving, The Jamaica Information Service.

Fun fact about emergency Calls made to the Police Call Center:

1.      33,000 calls per day received
2.      24 calls per minute.
3.      23,000 or 70% are prank calls i.e. non-emergencies or non-police related matters

Alert seems to be the most useful mode, for law abiding citizens as well as criminals alike. It provides you with the latest news, alerts and tips related to missing person updates, road blocks, and other information from the police blotters.

This is great for criminals as well, as they can also use this App to AVOID the Police when making their getaway.

iReport turns you into a sleuth, allowing really nosy teenagers during the summer to spy on you and their pesky neighbour. In the process, they'll break Section 3 of the constitution and your Right to privacy by spying on you and anonymously upload video, audio, photo or message about suspicious individuals or crimes....or videos of you having sex with the girl in the other apartment or yard!

Good luck using that intel in court; most likely a judge will throw it out.....assuming you girlfriend doesn’t throw you out of your shared apartment first!!

Stay Alert App Law Section – GOJ Picture ID for true Citizen of Jamaica fighting crime

The Laws is probably the most useful section; great to use against the Jamaican Police when they try to wrongfully arrest you for eating Kush Kandy as predicted in my blog article entitled “How Jared Wright's Kush Kandy is a neutraceutical that will make Sevy's Special Brownies legal”. 

Not only are these laws applicable in applicable in real-life situations but the Police can't arrest you for peddleing Kush Kandy, as they have no ticket books specifically made for Marijuana offenders as noted in the article “No books, so no ganja tickets”, published Sunday, June 26, 2016 by Jediael Carter, The Jamaica Observer.

To make the App more secure, it would be good to include a feature where in order to use the panic button, the individual would have to upload a GOJ (Government of Jamaica) picture ID. When the press the Panic button, it would also send an image of the persons which would be stored in the Police Call Center's database, allowing them to identify legitimate callers as well as stop prank callers from flooding their lines with fake calls.

After all, if you truly concerned about crime, then as a citizen of Jamaica you’re willing to stand and be counted. Pus from a legal point of view, should it come to court action based on the evidence you submitted, the Police would have to provide the identity of the persons who gave them the evidence, as we have no shield laws in Jamaica that protects witness and evidence of this nature is only admissible based on witness testimony.

For those of you brave enough to download this App and become an informer and potentially be tracked by the Jamaican Police, consult a lawyer beforehand. The Stay Alert App is really a great tools for pranksters to flood the Police Call Centers with even more misleading information.

Here's the link


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