A senior South Yorkshire Police officer has assisted in launching a pioneering new mobile phone app helping victims of domestic abuse across the country.
The Bright Sky app, launched by the Vodafone Foundation and domestic abuse charity Hestia, is the first of its kind in the UK, and is designed to signpost victims of domestic abuse to help and support services, as well as offering advice to people who believe loved ones could be victims.
The discreet app has been built and designed with the absolute safety of users in mind and allows people to log incidents of domestic abuse in a secure journal using either text, audio, video or photos, without content actually being saved on the device.
Policing experts on protecting those vulnerable to domestic abuse have worked closely with Vodafone, Hestia and TecSOS – specially adapted technology enabling people to contact police quickly and discreetly – to inform the policing element of the app.
Chief Superintendent Natalie Shaw, former head of the force’s protecting vulnerable people unit, sits on a steering group with the organisations, helping to inform them on the best ways we can work together to help people at risk of domestic abuse.
“Bright Sky will be a massive help to anyone vulnerable to domestic abuse, as well as to anyone who has concerns for someone. It will direct and connect people to local support services while also providing a discreet yet quick and easy way for people to contact police,” said Chief Supt Shaw.
“My role in this has been helping to inform the content on the app while also providing a short video clip explaining what the police will do if you call 999.
“If you call 999, a marked police car with blue flashing lights will arrive at your address, along with a uniformed officer. This is to make sure that you’re not in any immediate danger and we can ensure your welfare.
“We’ve also got officers in plain clothes who can visit you, either at your home or elsewhere, in an unmarked car to talk to you and explain your options and how we can help you.
“A large part of our work is of course arresting offenders but an equally large part is about protecting people and keeping them safe.
“We want to help as many people affected by domestic abuse as we can, whether that be physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse.
“If you’re concerned, I’d encourage you to download the Bright Sky app, it’s free, discreet and easy to use and enables you to find out more information on the support available and the different types of abuse.
“Together, we can work to tackle domestic abuse and protect vulnerable people and I’m incredibly proud as a South Yorkshire Police officer to have had the chance to be part of such an important project which will hopefully go on to help victims across the country.”
Bright Sky is available in English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish and is free to download on both iOs and Android devices via the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
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