This new online tool makes it so much easier for women to report unsafe local areas

·2-min read
Photo credit: Erik Witsoe / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Erik Witsoe / EyeEm - Getty Images

A new tool has been launched that will allow women to anonymously report unsafe local areas to police. The online map, developed by StreetSafe, is aimed at tackling violence against women.

Using the tool, women will be able to easily report places of concern, including poorly lit walkways, or areas they have experienced harassment. In their report, users will be asked why the area feels unsafe, whether an incident has occurred there and why it hasn't been reported to the police. There will also be questions about age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and disabilities.

The data collected by the map will be used to make areas safer, such as increased night-time patrols or better street lighting.

The launch comes after the death of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped and murdered earlier this year as she walked home from a friend's house. Her death highlighted the dangers women face on a daily basis, especially when out and about alone.

Photo credit: Met Police
Photo credit: Met Police

Speaking about the new tool, Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins said: "No one should fear walking the streets, but for too many women and girls, the threat of intimidation and harassment whilst going about their everyday lives is all too familiar."

In 2019, Cosmopolitan UK reported that one in three readers have been thrown out of clubs by themselves when drunk and that 57% felt unsafe on their way home.

Atkins added, "StreetSafe allows the public to flag concerns directly to police, ensuring that those responsible for making our streets safer use the data to improve safety and understand how local areas can better respond."

But, the police have warned the public that the tool is not an alternative to reporting serious incidents, but rather is a way to raise concerns regardless of whether an actual crime has been committed. The police encourage anyone who has been a victim of an incident to make a formal police report, as the new tool is anonymous and police are unable to take action on individual incidents logged on the online map.

During the three month trial period, the online map will be available on the national policing website.

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