Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has launched a new app called ‘Safe Space Sussex’. The app is aimed at helping people should they feel unsafe outside of their home.
It has been developed following detailed consultation with partners and public regarding the safety of women and girls in Sussex.
On first downloading the app, users will be asked to enter their own name and phone number as well as a preferred contact. They will then be directed to a map showing their location and a number of red pins indicating Safe Spaces near them. Tapping on a Safe Space will show opening times and the option to see directions from their current location.
When they arrive at a Safe Space they can identify themselves to staff who will be able to offer them somewhere to wait and offer to call 999, 101 or a contact of their choice.
If the user wishes to share their location using the app, they can do so using the alert button which will allow them to send a text containing their location (both the address and the what3words) to their named contact.
Over 250 businesses across the county have already signed up their premises as Safe Spaces and their staff have been offered basic training on what to do if someone comes in asking for help.
Stickers and posters will help to identify locations registered with the scheme as Safe Spaces and posters will also be displayed in staff areas to remind employees about the scheme and what to do if they are approached about it.
PCC Katy Bourne said: “I’m very pleased to be publicly launching the Safe Space Sussex app to help residents in our county when they feel unsafe. While the app isn’t designed for use in an emergency, we’ve all had occasions where we find ourselves somewhere unfamiliar and feel uneasy.
“With my new app, users will quickly and easily be able to find a Safe Space near them where they can find a friendly face and somewhere they can feel more comfortable, as well as offering them an easy way to share their current location with a named contact.
“I hope that the Safe Space Sussex app will give users peace of mind that there is somewhere nearby that they can go to for assistance should they need it.”
Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Tanya Jones said: “We are delighted that this app has been developed and is now available for all residents in Sussex to download. It will make a significant contribution to our important work in tackling violence against women and girls.”
If you run a business and would like to join your premises to the Safe Space Sussex scheme and app you can do so on the Safe Space Sussex website.
The app is available for free download from the Apple App and Google Play stores now.