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New app to enhance farm security in the Free State

A new security app called Die Plaaswag, introduced by Free State Agriculture (FSA), offers its users more accurate statistics, quicker response time after threats and the monitoring of crime in their area. According to FSA CEO, Gerhard Kriel, the app has a panic button and will help FSA members, farmers and the public improve safety. The application, of which FSA is a partner, was developed by a technology company Piri.

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“It also aims to gather accurate crime statistics that can help FSA fight crime in the Free State,” says Kriel. All incidents that are loaded on the application are submitted to FSA.

Kriel says the application is not just for farmers. Any member of the public can download it and it can also be used in cities and towns. “The simplicity of the application makes it easy to use with existing farming structures. It can reduce response time after threats and improve safety in the community,” says Rian Bothma of Piri.

Dr Jane Buys, Safety and Risk Analyst at FSA, analyses weekly data to identify threats.

According to Buys, the application is linked to a control room. When the panic button is pressed, messages are sent to 25 selected numbers from the mobile phone. The mobile phone dials an emergency number of the user's choice and at the same time, the control room also dials four selected emergency numbers.

It also provides the people contacted the GPS coordinates of where the person in distress is. With the app, the user can be tracked with a mobile phone while travelling.

“It also provides for the loading of crime incidents on agricultural land, and you may also request to observe all other crimes in your area in a certain radius, for example from 10-300km,” says Buys.

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the App Store.
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