A new app designed to help women and girls feel safer across Gloucestershire is now available to download for free.
Easy to use and compatible with any mobile device, the Flare app allows users to anonymously share their experiences of unwanted contact across Gloucestershire as a warning to others.
It’s hoped that the new technology will empower women and girls in the county to flag unacceptable behaviours and incidents that often go unreported, including touching without consent, cat calling, being followed and drink spiking – with the ability to pin point the exact location it happened.
The Flare app has been developed by Gloucestershire Police and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPPC), under the umbrella of Safer Gloucestershire, to help local authorities understand how and where women and girls feel unsafe in Gloucestershire – with the aim of making the county a safer place for them to live, work and visit.
The information shared anonymously on Flare will be used to inform police, councils and local partner agencies of where there are problems so they can take direct action.
For example, data gathered through the app will be used to identify local areas where women and girls feel the most vulnerable to inform the deployment of 18 mobile cameras across the county.
The cameras and Flare app have been developed with funding from the Home Office, after the OPPC secured a £1 million grant following two successful bids for funding from its Safer Streets Fund in October 2021.
Nick Evans, Gloucestershire’s deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and chair of Safer Gloucestershire, said: ‘Any incidence of violence, intimidation or harassment of women and girls on our streets should be reported to the police, but we know most are not. I want to turn that around and for women to have the confidence that in Gloucestershire, we care about their safety.
‘It won’t change things overnight but this technology together with more police officers on our streets and by working with our councils, will, I hope, lead to women and girls feeling safer wherever they are in our county and start to tackle the unacceptable fear and abuse they face every day.’
For more information and to download the Flare app for free, visit gloucestershire.police.uk/flare-app.
By Annabel Lammas
Thursday 25 November 2021
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