x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Abu Dhabi’s child protection app enters trial phase

The app can be downloaded for free and can only be activated by parents.

A smartphone app that allows children to send alerts to their parents if they are in danger has moved a step closer to being generally available.

The himayati (my protection) app can be downloaded free of charge, can only be activated by parents, and the police response time to an alert is estimated at four minutes.

Maj Gen Nasser Al Nuaimi, secretary general at the Office of the Interior Ministry, said when an alert is sent using the app, parents can request immediate police help simply by pressing a button on their smartphones.

A two-month trial phase of the app has begun at the Abu Dhabi Police central operations room, according to Al Ittihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National.

It is expected that other police offices in the UAE will eventually be linked to the system.

Maj Gen Ahmed Al Raisi, the director general of central operations at Abu Dhabi Police, said the application would help authorities to respond faster to emergencies.

When a family member clicks on the picture of a relative, their last-known location appears. Messages can also be sent to family members asking for a location, the child-protection centre at the ministry said.

Parents can also set their children’s expected times of arrival and departure from schools.

The app is available now for Android phones, and will also be released for the Apple, Blackberry and Windows operating systems.