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BT: 888 alarm call for lone women to be looked at by Scottish Government

© ShutterstockBT set out plans for “walk me home”, a new emergency number for women.
BT set out plans for “walk me home”, a new emergency number for women.

A 888 phone service aimed at protecting women is to be looked at by Scottish Government ministers.

BT set out plans for “walk me home”, an emergency number to allow women to have their journeys tracked and an alert triggered if they do not reach home in time.

The firm’s chief executive, Philip Jansen, said the idea came because he was filled with “outrage and disgust” after the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.

The Scottish Government said it was interested to learn more about the service and how it may be applied in Scotland saying: “Violence against women is abhorrent and totally unacceptable, and our Equally Safe Strategy sets out our ambition to eradicate it in all its forms.

“Our focus is on preventing such abuse and we have committed to invest over £100m over the next three years to support frontline services and focus on prevention of violence against women and girls.

“We are absolutely clear that women and girls should not feel unsafe or experience harassment, abuse or violence.

“Existing laws can and should be used to hold men to account for their actions, but we also need fresh consideration of the law which is why we set up the independent Working Group on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland, led by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This is exactly the kind of innovative scheme which would be good to get going as soon as we can. I’m now looking at it with my team and liaising with BT.”

The new service could be in operation by Christmas, potentially with the number 888 and the ability to summon police.

Jansen said “similar GPS technology to Uber and Google Maps” could allow a phone user to opt in to a “remote tracking mechanism”.

He added: “When activated it would automatically trigger an alert if they didn’t reach their destination within the expected time.”