Text message system aims to boost safety for women on buses

Text message system aims to boost safety for women on buses

by Tom Martin (June 2022)

A TEXT message service enabling women and girls to report sexual violence on the bus network has been launched.

The £270,000 campaign, called Safer Streets Liverpool, is aimed at improving the safety of women who use the region’s public transport network.

This new service will enable anyone who sees or experiences unwanted attention or sexual harassment while travelling by bus to report it discreetly and safely to the TravelSafe Partnership by texting SAFER to 65007, providing details of the incident including the date, time, location and route number, if it’s known.

Using their extensive CCTV system on buses and at bus stations, control room staff will then be able to monitor the behaviour, identify where sexual harassment and violence is taking place, and work with the police to bring perpetrators to justice.

This new text message service was specifically requested by young people, who said they felt this would be the method they would feel most comfortable using to report behaviour which made them feel unsafe.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “It is totally unacceptable that many women and girls don’t feel safe using our public transport network, particularly at night. Through our Safer Streets Liverpool campaign, we are doing everything possible to respond to their concerns to make them feel safer and be safer.

“One message that came out of our focus groups was that young people in particular wanted to be able report behaviour that made them feel uncomfortable and scared safely and discreetly by text.

“This text message service will make it as easy as possible for people to report any unwanted sexual behaviour they see or experience without drawing attention to themselves.

“By telling us where and when unwanted sexual behaviour is happening, women and girls who use this service will help us to identify offenders and take appropriate action to tackle this behaviour, making our public transport network safer for all.”

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