Priti Patel backs ‘innovative’ mobile app proposed in wake of murder of Sarah Everard
Plans are being put together for a new emergency number aimed at protecting women walking home alone over widespread fears about safety following the murder of Sarah Everard.
The newspaper reported on Saturday that home secretary Priti Patel was supportive of the idea, which Mr Jansen said could cost £50m to set up.
“This new phone line is exactly the kind of innovative scheme which would be good to get going as soon as we can. I’m now looking at it with my team and liaising with BT,” Ms Patel was quoted as saying.
Under the plans, users would be able to call or text 888 to give an estimate of how many minutes they expect to take to get back to their home address or other safe destination.
Their journey would then be tracked using GPS and the app would send a message to check that the user has made it home safely – a failure to respond would lead to emergency contacts being alerted.
“It’s very rare that people get kidnapped, raped and murdered, and the whole story is just awful. But what is not rare is the number of people who feel worried or fearful on a walk home,” Mr Jansen said.
“It happens every day in massive numbers, with people walking by themselves, looking over their shoulder, constantly worried.”
He added that the app could help to prevent people from going missing for hours before the alarm is raised and could help to deter criminals, who would know that friends and family could be alerted within minutes.
le Courrier reported the new “walk me home” service could be in operation by Christmas, potentially with the number 888.
Mr Jansen also noted that there were issues to resolve with the plans, such as on funding, privacy and the potential for misuse, but said he hoped ministers would seriously consider the idea.
“There needs to be proper discussion and debate about the technicalities, but I am confident that we can make it work,” the telecoms boss said.
“I am not a politician, I can’t change society, but if I can use innovative technology to improve personal safety, then I am determined to do so.”
UNE Bureau à domicile spokesperson confirmed to L'indépendant it had received BT’s proposal and would respond “in due course”.
“As set out in our strategy earlier this year, we need a whole of society approach to tackling violence against women and girls and welcome joint working between the private sector and government," a déclaré le porte-parole.
It came after the police métropolitaine announced that Baroness Casey of Blackstock would lead a review of culture and standards at the force in the wake of Ms Everard’s murder.
Ms Everard was killed by an officer who used his police-issue handcuffs and warrant card to stage a fake arrest in order to kidnap her.
Vendredi, the Met Police also said that an “urgent examination” was underway to review all current investigations of sexual and domestic abuse allegations against officers and staff.
Rapports supplémentaires par l'AP