A new smartphone app was launched last October to make it easier for Londoners to report hate crime and access support services. The Mayor of London’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) launched the app during National Hate Crime Awareness Week, with the aim of boosting confidence in reporting and encouraging victims of hate crime to come forward.
With 14,631 hate crimes recorded in London last year, the Crime Survey for England and Wales suggests that up to 52 per cent of hate crime goes unreported. The Mayor’s Hate Crime Strategy, published in 2014, aims to make it easier to report hate crimes and there has already been a 30 per cent increase in reporting in London in the last year.
The new app, which is free to download and available on both Apple and android platforms, builds on the existing Self Evident crime reporting app from social enterprise Just Evidence. It enables victims to immediately report an incident, with the information going directly to the Police via a secure server. Users can also upload photographic and video material as part of their report, providing the option to submit a verbal statement or footage of the incident.
MOPAC provided £100,000 funding for the development of the hate crime support app and its year-long pilot across London. Extra custom-built software was added to the existing technology, allowing easier access to support for all victims of hate crime, including those who may not necessarily want to involve the police. The aim is to increase the chance of obtaining swift justice for victims and to ensure they receive support to help them cope and recover from the effects of the incident.
Developed with the Metropolitan Police and local community groups, the app provides information and access to support services to help victims, and offers the option for those who do not wish to report to the police to log the incident or seek help through Victim Support.
In use across London and Sussex, the app uses GPS to determine a victim’s location. If a victim uses Self Evident outside of these areas, the app refers their report to the relevant police force and Victim Support service in the victim’s area of residence.
Commander Mak Chishty, Metropolitan Police Service, Hate Crime lead said: “Hate Crime remains hugely under-reported and the new app makes it easier for people to report incidents. We want to safeguard victims and bring offenders to justice.
“We urge victims not to suffer in silence, they should speak out, report incidents as soon as possible. In an emergency, victims should call 999. We have over 900 specialist Police officers in Community Safety Units dedicated to investigating all hate crime and domestic abuse. We take all hate crime seriously, it should not be tolerated; if you can’t report it to police, seek advice from a third party organisation.”
The app can be downloaded here: