BT’s 888 phone service to protect returning women – how it works | Violence against women and girls

BT has designed an emergency phone service that aims to provide protection to women when they return home, which has been approved by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The telephone service intervenes after the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.

How will it work?

Users will be able to download a mobile phone application and enter their home address and other destinations they use regularly.

Before leaving on a trip, they would start the app, which would give the expected travel time and track them via the phone’s GPS system. Alternatively, they can also call or text 888.

A message would be sent to them when they were due to return home. If they did not respond, emergency contacts would then be called and the police would be notified.

Where did the idea come from?

According to BT chief executive Philip Jansen, he and his team invented the system after the Everard and Nessa murders filled him with “outrage and disgust”.

He told the Daily Mail: “Just walking home makes people anxious and at risk. “

BT is responsible for managing emergency phone number 999.

What was the reaction?

The system was supported by Patel after being contacted by Jansen. She told the Daily Mail: “This new phone line is exactly the kind of innovative project that would be good to start as soon as possible. I am now reviewing it with my team and am liaising with BT. “

Some activists have spoken about it by shifting the problem to women rather than tackling the problem of violence against women and girls and a low rate of criminal convictions.

Woman’s Trust, a charity that provides mental health support to women victims of domestic violence, said: “Women’s freedoms and rights should not be taken away to make more room and excuses for male violence . Funding an app while survivors continue to be left behind by the health and criminal justice systems is not the solution. “

Police Federation spokesperson Phill Matthews said it could create problems if it creates more work for the police, but said the organization would not oppose anything that increases public safety .

How much will the service cost and when could it start?

The project could cost around £ 50million, according to PA Media. It could be operational by Christmas.

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