New 888 service proposed to protect women who go home
BT has developed plans for a phone service to protect women who go home alone after the murder of Sarah Everard and other women in the UK.
The service, tentatively called “Walk Me Home” or “888”, would work with a GPS tracking system and alert emergency contacts and possibly the police if a user did not get to their destination on time.
The service, which is being developed by BT but could work on any network, could be used via an app or via SMS or a call to 888.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, said of the 888 service, “We are proposing to add a new emergency service that would complement 999,” adding that the service “would also act as a deterrent “. to criminals “.
Mr Jansen has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel regarding the plans he believes require testing and funding.
The plans were reportedly received positively by Ms. Patel and the Home Office is now further investigating the plans.
There are several concerns about the plans, however – one of which is that the app doesn’t address cultural issues that have led to male violence. It has been alleged that the service could deter criminals, although there are concerns that it could do so only to a limited extent.
The app has been welcomed by some who believe it can help women feel more secure, although a number of groups and politicians have instead called for action to address issues surrounding male violence.
On social media, Labor Party’s vice-chair Angela Rayner wrote:
“Here’s a radical idea for you, Priti – instead of tracking the movements of women in our lives, how about the government instead fighting male violence?
“Only 1% of reported rapes result in an indictment. That’s the problem, not us walking home.”
Meanwhile, the Women’s Equality Party said, “We must stop and start ending violence against women and girls.”
While the app is reported to have won the support of Priti Patel, it may face a number of obstacles – including public support and addressing security / privacy concerns.