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A new, free smartphone app – Flare Report – has been launched to help women and girls feel and be safer on the streets of Northamptonshire.
Flare Report allows women to report, anonymously and quickly, any incidents or behaviour that make them feel unsafe when they are out and about. Police will collate and analyse the reports made, so that problem areas can be identified and action taken.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has brought the app to the county. Stephen hopes that reports made on Flare will help to build a clearer picture of where incidents are happening and give women the confidence to report things that might otherwise go unreported.
“We know anecdotally that many women and girls simply would not report incidents like cat-calling, street harassment or even unwanted touching to Police, either because they are embarrassed, or they don’t think it will be taken seriously. I also know that this is a daily experience for many women. We can’t live in a community where women accept that harassment is just something that happens to everyone, we must call it out. Flare Report is the mechanism for doing that,” Stephen Mold said.
Flare Report can be downloaded to Apple or Android devices. Women and girls can use it to report incidents and behaviour that are inappropriate and make them feel unsafe, such as cat calling, comments or touching, street harassment or other threatening behaviour. Crimes can be reported on Flare Report but not if they need an immediate police response.
Flare is not for reporting crimes in progress, but Police will check reports every day to make sure that nothing that needs an urgent response has been submitted.
The information submitted on the app will enable Police to identify places or venues where inappropriate behaviour is making women feel unsafe. That information will be used by Police and other partners such as the local authorities to take action to reduce the risk to women and tackle perpetrators and problems.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “I want Flare Report to boost women’s confidence and encourage them to report street harassment. And then I want us to be able to show the public what we have done about it. This is the only way to start the conversation and put a line in the sand about the kind of behaviour we will accept in our society.”
Flare is free to download and can be installed on any mobile device.
Detective Superintendent Joe Banfield, from Northamptonshire Police said: “Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls is a matter of priority for the Force, so we really welcome the introduction of the new Flare Report app and encourage people to download it.
“If people use the app and tell us about incidents, the more we’ll be able to focus on and tackle the issues that are raised. We want women and girls in the county to live confidently, without feeling frightened, intimidated, or harassed.
“We recognise that not everyone wants to formally report incidents like cat calling, unwanted touching and other forms of sexual harassment to the police. The Flare app provides an opportunity for them to tell us informally and anonymously about where incidents are occurring and the type of things that are making them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
“The data from the Flare app will hopefully show us what, where, and when inappropriate behaviours are occurring. It will help draw attention to venues or areas within the county that are problematic, or patterns of behaviour in particular places. We can then concentrate our operational resources and activities to help keep people safe.”
The app can installed on your phone by searching for Flare Reporting on Google Play or Apple Store or scanning the QR code below.