The app will help police assist victims and also serve as a deterrent
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is set to launch a mobile app to ensure that assistance when facing sexual harassment is just a couple of taps on your smartphone away.
The app, called Eagle, will generate alerts with the location of the victim and send it to the nearest police station under the DMP’s jurisdiction. The app is set to be launched next month on both iOS and Android.
Bangladesh recorded the highest number of rape incidents in a single year in the country in 2020.
The officers-in-charge (OCs) and sub-inspectors (Sis) at all 51 police stations under DMP are being trained on how the app will function. The training sessions are being held at Police Headquarters.
“This is a unique app with which criminals can be spotted on the streets or even inside a building in short time,” said Tanvir Hassan Zoha, a cybersecurity analyst under whose supervision the app has been developed.
“Eagle will be a major step forward in ensuring safety and preventing the rape and torture of women,” he told Dhaka Tribune recently.
How will Eagle function?
The Eagle app will function both online and offline, 24/7. A tap on the app will send the victim’s GPS location to their parents and the nearest police station, and policemen will immediately rush to help.
The alert, which includes the victim’s photograph and phone number in addition to their location, will be accompanied by a siren at the police station.
“Police can call the victim instantly, as can parents. This way, police will be able to rush to the spot and rescue the victim in the shortest possible time,” Zoha said.
If the nearest policeman fails to respond in three minutes, the alert will be automatically relayed to the next nearest policeman. Police officials involved in initiative believe there will be no scope for negligence, as the app will keep track of police response.
Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT) is assisting police with implementing the app.
Police officials said the date for the launch of Eagle is yet to be finalized. After being implemented in Dhaka, the app will gradually be introduced to the 560 other police stations across the country.
“This app will also work as a deterrent. Once people come to know about the effectiveness of the app, everyone will think twice before harassing women,” said a policeman, asking to remain anonymous.
Ominous rise in rape incidents
According to Ain o Salish Kendra, at least 1,627 women were raped and 53 were killed after rape in 2020, as compared to 1,413 rape incidents in 2019, and 732 in 2018.
In the first two months of 2021, 164 women were raped, 8 died after rape, 12 were sexually harassed, 12 were physically tortured because of dowry, and 29 women were murdered by their husband.
According to Police Headquarters, the app will reduce the number of rape incidents and other types of harassment, and make women everywhere feel safer.