Imagine a two-button app that could save lives in an emergency as well as take away a criminal’s anonymity in a scary situation. It sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. Welcome to KOORCA – an app designed to turn ‘a crook’ around.
The idea for KOORCA came to life when two Queensland graziers – Russ Broad and Ben Callcott – heard about the shocking murder of Jill Meagher in Brunswick, Victoria.
“We just couldn’t believe that we didn’t have the technology at our disposal to try and stop that from happening,” says KOORCA Co-Founder, Russ Broad
“After all, 80% of us walk around with the equivalent of a personal computer in our pockets. So why can’t this device help us to stop opportunistic offenders?”
It’s a solid point. After all, Jill Meagher had her phone in hand before the assault but it was of little use as a deterrent. Taking a photo is problematic as the attacker can delete it. Making a call can’t prevent an attack and it takes longer to dial than it does to fully utilise KOORCA. So how does this app work?
Users simply unlock their phone, open the app and secretly, or openly, take a photo of the suspect. The photo or video is stamped with the time, date and location, and instantly lodged in a database made accessible to the police. It sits in storage like CCTV for just 14 days. It doesn’t notify the police, it doesn’t save it to your phone and if nothing happens it simply rolls off the system.
On top of that, if you travel, KOORCA can still help – and not just with the crime aspect. The ‘Call Emergency’ function automatically calls the correct emergency number regardless of where you are in the world. It can also take a picture of what you are seeing and make both your pinpoint location and the photo available to the operator with just one click.
Why is this important? Because even if you are aware of your exact location, it’s far more difficult to communicate it to an emergency operator than you could imagine. It took Tori Johnson, Manager of the Lindt Café in Sydney, 72 seconds to progress his call past the location question. That’s a lot of wasted time – but that’s just the tip of it.
“The US Federal Communications Commission forecasts that if they can reduce the call time to 911 by one minute, it will save 10,000 lives in America every year.” Russ says. “That translates to 670 lives in Australia every year. Or, two lives today, two lives tomorrow and two lives every day until this thing is up and going,” he says gravely.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start putting the power back into the victim’s hands – isn’t it time?