News

Anti-street harassment app launched

The app aims to make it easier to report street harassment and create a database of ‘hotspots’
By Victoria Munro

The app launch in Walthamstow town centre yesterday (WF Council)
The app launch in Walthamstow town centre yesterday (WF Council)

A new app aiming to tackle street harassment and funded by Waltham Forest Council has now launched.

The ‘Safe Streets’ app is intended to allow women and girls to easily report street harassment, either anonymously or with their details if they would like it to be formally investigated.

The app also provides a direct link to the 24/7 Stop Hate UK helpline and access to specialist support if needed.

The council was motivated to create the app after a survey last year showed 89% of local women had experienced street harassment, forcing more than two third to “change their day-to-day behaviour” to avoid it.

Credit: WF Council


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Council leader Grace Williams said: “Everyone has the right to be safe and women and girls have had enough of feeling unsafe and being told that this is their problem. 

“It is the behaviour of some men and the failure of that behaviour to be challenged which is the problem. 

“The police, the council and the whole community must work together to improve safety for women and girls and this new app is one step towards that. We understand that many cases go unreported, so we want to make this process as simple and user-friendly as possible.

“It will help build a database of the problem areas within the borough and provide a fact-driven method to actively crackdown on street-based harassment. On top of that, it can act as a one-stop hub for support and guidance from various resources, so that it’s easily accessible for those that need it.”

Police and council officers have already begun increasing patrols in “hotspots” identified through the survey, while the council is delivering ‘Stand By Her’ bystander training to encourage men to speak up when they see women being harassed.

To download the app, visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/wfsafe-streets


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