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A new ‘walk me home’ service, proposed by BT chief executive Philip Jansen, could reportedly be in operation by Christmas.
This service would reportedly allow women walking home alone to enable GPS tracking on their phone using an app and would give an expected journey time, with emergency contacts automatically receiving alerts should the user fail to reach home within this anticipated time period.
Users may also use this service to dial or text 888 if they feel in danger, connecting them with emergency assistance.
Jansen described how he was left filled with ‘outrage and disgust’ while following coverage of the murders, and believes this service would ‘also act as a deterrent to criminals’:
Anxious parents often use ‘find my phone’ to keep track of their children’s movements if they are out at night. But youngsters don’t want their parents tracking them, and many turn it off.
The 888 service would mean that parents can relax a bit, knowing that if there is a problem, they will be alerted.
There needs to be proper discussion and debate about the technicalities, but I am confident that we can make it work. 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.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has praised the idea, describing it as ‘exactly the kind of innovative scheme which would be good to get going as soon as we can’. Patel is said to be currently ‘looking at it with my team and liaising with BT’.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays
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