PETALING JAYA - A battery-operated panic button the size of a car remote may be making the difference between life and death whenever a crime occurs.
Easily concealed and carried around, it alerts the police silently with just a press of the button and brings the cops in as fast as within eight minutes, as shown in pilot projects conducted in Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya and Serdang.
The SOS Panic Button, which has pre-programmed information and a GPS lock, bypasses the usual hassle of calling the police and having to explain the emergencies.
The panic button was designed to get faster police response time to crime scenes, said Fastlane Emergency Resources Group Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Tan Jake Chuan, whose company developed the system.
"The panic button will be very useful and effective for premises under 24-hour guard services, convenience stores, restaurants, clinics as well as gated and guarded communities," he said, adding that soon, it would be directly linked to police stations and district headquarters.
"The panic button is not meant to replace the 999 emergency line but will serve as an option to reach the police quicker without raising suspicions," he told The Star.
With successful results from the pilot projects in three police districts, Fastlane, said Tan, hoped to work closely with Bukit Aman to expand this to other areas in the country.
"Mock runs have been carried out in many other places," he said, adding that the first stage of the implementation would cover most of Klang Valley.
Police, he said, had been looking at a response time of eight minutes to arrive at the crime scenes but with the added talk time to the 999 call line and the district headquarters' control centres, this might extend to 15 minutes.
"Of course, allowances must also be given to traffic situations and the time of the crime," he added.
Although "panic button" apps were available on mobile phones, Tan said these devices were usually the first things criminals snatched away from their victims.
"This panic button can serve as a 'secret alarm' which can be hidden anywhere and remains unnoticed," he said.
The SOS Panic Button service, he said, would require subscription, adding that the company was still working on the charges.