Father creates an app to help with issue of missing children

Safesnap app aims to help families and communities. Supplied image

Safesnap app aims to help families and communities. Supplied image

Published Jul 22, 2023


Cape Town - Father of two Adrian Broom has the greatest fear any parent has, his children going missing and not being able to find them.

Broom, an entrepreneur and IT specialist decided there was a need for a more secure and reliable solution should one of children’s go missing at a shopping centre or if a parent suddenly became ill in their presence.

Broom’s two children were minors when he lost them inside a clothing store. They hid between clothes and he went into panic and eventually found them.

It was for this reason that he decided to brainstorm and created SAFEsnap, which uses biometrics, facial recognition and GPS technology.

He explained the App was free to download but that fees were required for subscription once you became an active member where data and information would be stored or shared.

This would include adding family members or friends who could assist during an emergency or vice versa.

“Imagine a loved one is involved in an incident, with no access to their personal belongings and, in the worst-case scenario, is possibly unable to communicate.

“It could be something as simple as a night out with friends or a walk through the neighbourhood, or as serious as a motor or sporting accident,” he said.

“Or perhaps you’re at a large event or gathering, or at a shopping mall. Suddenly you realise you’re separated from your child or other loved one. Just a few minutes feels like hours.

“SAFEsnap is designed to be feature and function-rich, specifically developed for these types of scenarios, and many more. Our app enables anyone to help in the event of an emergency with built-in biometrics. Our biometric features ensure ease of identification, even without physical ID.

“Once set up, biometric ID remains in place for each family member or subscriber.

“This means anyone with a SAFEsnap subscription – even SAFEsnap Free – can identify anyone else in the event of an emergency with The Public Safety Announcement (PSA).”

Broom added that strangers could help in assisting you or your child in different scenarios such as a medical emergency, roadside assistance or even a kidnapping or missing persons.

“They could call an ambulance,” he said.

“But they cannot give more information and many times there are very little road signs.

“If you cannot speak and a resident has the app, they can assist you.

“Anyone can download the app for free.

“Facial recognition, a person’s facial structure does not change as they get older.

“A young child often does not know where they live or their address, if we take an example of a shopping mall and a child gets lost.

“If a child is kidnapped or goes missing, we can put an alert out for a certain area radius and everyone who has the app will get an alert and notification and even a picture of the child and if you have taken a photograph on that day of the incident, it will upload that one.

“The profile of that missing person will not be removed until the person has been located or if you as the uploaded remove it.

“It is also future plan if this biometrics can be used at the airport, even if the child is disguised, you cannot change the child’s facial structure, and if there is an alert put out at the airport, everyone on that plane who sees this child can be part of preventing them from being kidnapped or human trafficked.”

He added that the app got rid of all the paperwork.

“This will also alleviate that document that a parent has to fill out at the police station when reporting a missing child; who has the time to fill in a 12-page document.

“Who carries a photograph with them of their child, whereas the child’s photograph will be on the app and all in that area I indicate who has the app will get it,” he explained.

Broom said he was taken aback by the latest figures on missing children in the country, which was featured in the Weekend Argus this month.

National Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said there were 2 175 missing females and that 1 537 boys vanished between 1995 and June 2023.

Candice van der Rheede, founder of Western Cape Missing Persons, said the app would assist missing cases.

“If this app can assist in looking for a missing person via the internet, then it will help as we are doing this physically by scanning the internet,” she said.

“If they see a post that is reporting a missing person and they have that person on that app, that will be great.

“There is an issue of data on our side, so this will help.

“The only problem we have is that, will our people be willing to register and pay a R20 fee per month?

“It would be good if many can register on this app, then it will help us.”

For more information on SAFEsnap and how it can work for you, please contact [email protected] www.safesnap.co.za

Weekend Argus

Related Topics:

missing personsgps