This week, one of Koorca’s co-founders, Russ Broad, found himself in Cairns at a time the community were grieving the one-year anniversary of Toyah Cordingly’s shocking murder.
( Toyah Cordingly: https://www.9news.com.au/national/one-year-anniversary-toyah-cordingley-death-passes-with-no-arrests-queensland-news/7b5dba12-791f-4539-a777-ec1b958dc5fe )
Russ stated, “It’s amazing how many bumper stickers and signs of support are around up here. The community are still hurting, let alone what her parents must be going through, and will continue to go through.
“I wish Toyah had known about Koorca. Koorca could have prevented her death, or at worst, quickly solved the crime and brought closure to her parents.”
“Interestingly the most senior police officer in Cairns was fully supportive of Koorca 2 years ago but for reasons unknown to us, the QPS dropped it with no explanation. If it were up to him, Koorca would be in full use around Cairns and it’s quite likely we would not know who Toyah is; she would still be living a rich life, and the people of Cairns wouldn’t be in mourning.”
Koorca (‘a-crook’ in reverse) was first designed when Broad, and co-founder (Russ’s brother-in-law) Ben Callcott learnt about the murder of Irish-born Jill Meagher in Melbourne in 2012. “We believed that with modern technology, we should be able to prevent terrible crimes like this from occurring.” With a background in law enforcement, Broad was at an advantage in understanding the psychology of the criminal mind, realising that “with the threat of being identified, most people with criminal intent, will turn around.”
(Link to Jill Meagher: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Jill_Meagher)
Koorca has been designed with this in mind, acting as a personal CCTV camera that people can use to make an emergency call, enabling collaborating first response authorities to “see what the victim, or concerned citizen, is seeing.” Additionally, any footage taken is simultaneously uploaded to a secure vault, “so that no matter what happens to your phone, the recording is accessible if required.”
Broad is adamant that the more people who are aware of and use Koorca, the safer communities will become. “People should be able to safely go for a walk, that’s part of why we live where we do. Koorca is about giving people back their rights to move around in their communities safely. The more people who use Koorca, the safer we’ll all be.”
Russ and Ben are so committed to helping people regain their right to live safely in their own communities, that, for as long as they are able to, they will provide Koorca as a free-to-download app.
“We are both husbands and fathers ourselves, and sincerely want to contribute to preventing any more pointless attacks from happening. We’re not sure how long we can sustain providing the app for free however, as it costs us money every time someone downloads the app.”
“But we are on a mission. We want to get to a point where Koorca sends shivers down the spine of a crook; where they know, if they’ve been ‘Koorca’d’, they can’t touch you, they turn around, without committing a crime in the first place.”