THE Nigerian Police Force (NPF) on Wednesday announced that its Rescue Me App has received 10,122 fake emergency alerts in four days, an action that puts genuine callers at risk.
The Acting Force Public Relations Officer Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on his official Twitter account said the development was capable of sabotaging the app rescue system.
“On our NPF Rescue Me App, we want to urge Nigerians to please stop fake alerts. These are causing more harm to the system and jeopardising it. In the last four days, we have received more than 10,122 fake alerts,” he said.
On our NPF Rescue Me App, we want to urge Nigerians to please stop fake alerts. These are causing more harm to the system and jeopardise it. In the last 4 days, we have received more than 10,122 fake alerts. pic.twitter.com/DXySK9lvAw
— Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi (@Princemoye1) March 30, 2022
In his tweet, Adejobi said the fake emergency alerts by some Nigerians prank testing the service had caused heavy traffic within the system.
“And that’s why we have heavy traffic on the system, thereby affecting the genuine callers. We have more than 5000 pending or awaiting OTP to proceed on the app; it’s due to this unnecessary heavy traffic on the system,” he tweeted.
The Rescue Me App was launched by the police to help citizens in distress to report crimes in their neighbourhoods with direct access to police helplines.
It highlights eight different types of alerts in emergency cases like homicide, medical situation, rape, assault robbery, kidnapping, domestic threat, burglary and violence.
“We are sure the app is good, efficient and helpful; that’s why we initiated it to improve our security network. Pls, cooperate with us on this,” Adejobi stated.
Apart from reporting crime, the Rescue Me App also has other functions such as requesting an ambulance, emergency contact feature, reporting a police officer, and navigation.
At the time of filing this report, the app has amassed 10,000 downloads on Playstore and updated to the version 2.2.5.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.