A WOMEN’S safety app that surged in popularity in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder has revealed the North-East’s unsafe streets.
The WalkSafe app pins locations of reported crime, such as sexual assault, mugging and knife crime, by using police data, which helps people avoid crime hotspots.
Co-founder Emma Kay said her own experiences of harassment inspired her to back the project, though “it shouldn’t have to exist”.
“It was something that I definitely felt very strongly about,” she said.
“There have been instances in the past of myself, dating back from a young age – I’m talking schoolgirl age – where you felt nervous, you’ve been scared.
“I’ve been followed, I’ve had someone, a stranger in the street put his hand up my skirt, I’ve been in those sorts of situations and it does start young.”
It includes a map of reported incidents nearby that make users aware of potential danger zones.
Another feature allows people to tap the app every so often while they walk home, sending an alert to a loved one if they do not tap within the set time.
Users can also check in with others and let the app send an automatic notification to friends when they have reached their destination.
It works by revealing how many crimes have been reported in the area- and also how long ago it was reported. If you walk near dangerous areas, the app automatically alerts you.
It uses data published via police.uk with the app refreshing the map twice a week.
The app is colour coordinated based on crime and this will change depending on the time of day, allowing for discreet use at night time reducing the risk of alerting a potential attacker.
Its timely popularity comes as lockdown begins to ease and the hospitality industry is set to reopen on April 12.
As well as police reports, the app also allows people to record when they feel unsafe. The user can report anything from rowdy groups of people, drunks, if there is a police presence and even if the area is poorly lit.
For example, on E Row in Darlington, there is a report of knife crime. Violence/sexual assault was reported in a shop off Blackwellgate, on Raby Terrace and Portland Place, among others.
Durham City Centre also has cases of knife crime and violence/sexual assault.
This is what the coloured dots on the app mean:
- Red – violence/sexual assault
- Black – knife crime
- Light Blue – feeling unsafe
- Yellow – mugging
The app is mostly populated by red and black dots, revealing the levels of violence/sexual assault and knife crime in each area.
Users can also report police presence and the lines of pickpockets.
Here’s the picture across Durham, Darlington and Stockton:
WalkSake is free and there are no in-app purchases. It is available via the App Store for iPhones or Google Play Store for Android phones.
Find more information, click here https://www.walksafe.io/