A newly-released app uses police data to show users where recent crimes have happened – so they can pick safe routes to walk home.
WalkSafe pins stabbings, muggings and burglaries on a map to warn pedestrians.
There have been more than 200,000 downloads of the free safety app in five days – as focus has turned onto women’s safety following Sarah Everard‘s murder.
Developers say they expect app downloads to reach 400,000 by tomorrow.
The innovative app pulls the latest police data every month, and refreshes several times a week so users can see crimes which have happened close to them.
This allows users to alter their routes home and avoid crime hotspots.
WalkSafe has been in development for a year, and was released last week.
An app which alerts users to recent crimes on their walk home has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in five days in the wake of the disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard
The app also allows users to send their reports to developers which will be logged on the map
Co-founder Emma Kay explained: ‘Personal safety is always something as a woman I’ve felt quite passionately about.
‘The WalkSafe map shows reports of crime taken from the monthly police report in the area.
‘So that includes sexual assault, muggings, knife crime and pickpocketing.
‘The crime icons are designed to help people see patterns and regular trouble spots.
‘I use it when I am out and about with my little girl.
‘If I’m walking to the shops, I will automatically get an alert on my phone to a recent crime in the area.
Co-founder Emma Kay (pictured) developed the app with brother-in-law Richard
‘That will enable me to either plan a different route – or start to identify crime patterns.
‘So say I notice a few crimes happening, I might change my route.’
Emma, 32, developed the app with her brother-in-law Richard – so it pulls new police data every week.
She says the reports are ’95 per cent accurate’.
Although users can make their own reports to the app, these must be verified by multiple users within six hours or they will be removed.
It also has a setting which allows users to put in their estimated time of arrival home.
If they don’t arrive on time emergency contacts get alerted to their location.
There is also a TapSafe alert system, which allows people to send a signal to their contacts if they’re in trouble.
Mother-of-one Emma said: ‘This app should not have to exist, but if creating it helps just one person avoid a bad situation, it’s worth it.
‘The police always say the best thing to do when you are out is to stay aware and alert.
‘Our app can work alongside you staying aware.
‘I use the homesafe app with my partner – especially after a night out with the girls.
‘I use the walksafe app with my daughter.
‘As a female you feel a little bit more vulnerable anyway, and I’m pregnant.
‘I feel that the safety of my child is very important to me – and the app helps me to stay alert when I’m out.’
The topic of women’s safety has come to the fore after the shocking disappearance of Sarah Everard from Clapham, London. Pictured: A vigil for Sarah at Clapham Common on Saturday
The topic of women’s safety has come to the fore after the shocking disappearance of Sarah Everard from Clapham, South London, earlier this month.
Protests have been held to highlight concerns around male crime against females.
On social media, many women have been sharing apps and techniques to stay safe at night.
Emma, of Richmond, south west London, added: ‘It’s so devastating what has happened, and has shaken all of us to our core.
‘We wish our app didn’t have to exist, but there is a place for it right now.
‘If we help one person from avoiding a difficult situation then it’s worth it.
‘Our goal is to create a safer community for everyone.’