New BNW APP
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The long-awaited communication App has been developed and will be rolled out from Wednesday 3 June 2020. The existing BNW ICE and street clusters group will remain operational for a period until residents had an opportunity to download the new App and got familiar with the functionality.
The Ballito Neighbourhood Watch App is designed specifically for use by Neighbourhood Watch and Community Policing Forums and has been developed by a locally Ballito based IT Company. When this team of developers heard what the BNW needed for effective incident communication and response, they jumped on board to assist in designing the bespoke App. Ballito Neighbourhood Watch will be first to try out use of this App, which includes many first of its kind features.
BNW started their ICE (In Case of Emergency) reporting group using the WhatsApp platform back in 2015 and on the back of that they also created a separate Chat Group where BNW members could report locally on street and residential matters and reporting incidents where escalation was needed to stakeholders ie. KwaDukuza Parks and Gardens or Roads repair Departments.
In October 2016, at the request of residents and seeing the benefit of communication with the entire Community, BNW then went on to create Street Groups for 54 of the 57 streets in Ballito. These groups were open to all residents.
BNW has built up strong and effective relationships with a network of local security companies that are involved in the Community. These providers agreed to be added on BNW Membership communication and ICE Groups and in some instances they also joined onto the resident street groups.
Why the Change
The App allows BNW to comply with protection of personal information (POPI) requirements and removes current misuse of BNW communication groups. Going forward incident and reporting communication will be between reporters and responders in a transparent process.
All key Security, Safety and Emergency Response Companies will be going onto the new BNW App. This means that they will exit the BNW Street WhatsApp Groups after the BNW App is off the ground and working effectively for both residents and response.
It is important to note that this App does not replace your current security arrangement, in case of an emergency, YOUR security company will still be notified first, if no response within a specified period, the second tier or security responders will be notified, if still no response (which is highly unlikely) a response handling call center will be notified who will then contact service providers to ensure that your emergency gets attended to. It is imperative to note that neither the App developer or Ballito Neighbourhood Watch/ Ward 6 CPF shall not be liable, in any manner whatsoever, for any damage, loss or liability that resulted from the use of the App if a user did not get the required response from a provider whether it being security, SAPS, medical assistance, fire etc.
1. BNW Security and Emergency Response partners will all be on the app, ready and waiting
2. Members download the BNW App
The App is available in Google Playstore and the Apple iStore as ‘Ballito Neighbourhood Watch Reporter’ as of Wednesday. Once downloaded and your information is entered by you, the Membership request goes through a verification and approval process.
A video tutorial will be available online to guide new App users (Coming Soon!!). BNW Committee member will also be available to assist the technology shy members.
Phase 2 – BNW addition of other response and reporting stakeholders to report fire emergencies, traffic issues, pets and wildlife rescue, streetlight reporting and electricity issues.
The BNW geographic area of responsibility has been broken down into 9 Clusters. In case of an emergency ie. report of an intruder who is fence hopping, the responders will broadcast this message to relevant cluster/s only. Responders can do broadcasting to all Clusters is possible too. Residents, as ‘Reporters’ will get a case number logged at the time of reporting allowing them to track response progress. The App works on geo-location and you can therefore be tracked in the event of an emergency report, regardless of where you are home, at the beach or in Town. At the time of an Emergency incident to a Responder, the App functionality allows for up to 3 family or friends to also be notified simultaneously.
Significant BNW App Features and BNW communication platform changes
• Self-managed streamlined communication choices. You can opt in or out of general and Cluster specific communication categories.
• Conversation is no longer possible between residents. We have aligned the BNW App to meet the BNW primary aims and objectives of Incident and Emergency reporting and response management.
The BNW Committee have agreed to give all residents in the BNW geographic residential area an opportunity to download and use the BNW App. This will be available for download from 03 June as a free trial until the end of August 2020. Once the trial period lapses, if you decide you would like to receive the benefit of BNW Membership, including use of the BNW App thereafter, you can elect on the BNW App to join BNW at a minimal annual fee per household which includes up to 3 members per household who are entitled to Membership and the use of the App.