With many already back to their hometowns for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays as the final week of Ramadan ticks by, there will be many empty houses during this time. Thankfully, those of you worried about leaving your homes unattended will be able to get the police to patrol your neighbourhood from time to time, thanks to an app called Volunteer Smartphone Patrol (VSP).
Available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery, the app is an extension of the Royal Malaysian Police’s (PDRM) Rakan Cop community outreach programme. It allows the public to report any suspicious activity, including photos, videos and GPS coordinates.
But there’s a separate part of VSP called “Balik Kampung” which enables users to submit a request for the police to check on their houses. To do that, you simply have to fill out a form, indicating your state, travel dates and your address (of course). The best part is, this service isn’t limited to the Raya season, but is available any time of the year.
This “Balik Kampung” service on the VSP app isn’t new and has been around since at least 2017. A review on the app on the App Store posted last May stated that while there’s no notification on a successful application, the police did check on the user’s house three times a day, sending a photo each time. The patrol unit even sent a photo on the last day to confirm that the user was back home. Another reviewer, also in May, said the police will place a report in the mailbox each day.
So there you have it: the next time you are travelling anywhere—not just back to your hometown during the Raya season—you can get the police to watch over your home for that extra peace of mind.