21st October 2021
The company BT is now proposing a new emergency number ‘888’ to try to offer protection to people walking around in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.
The Home Office spokeswoman said that they did receive a proposal letter from the BT Chief Executive Philip Jansen the proposal letter included an emergency number to allow people to have their journeys tracked and then an alert triggered if they do not reach home in that time it is aimed largely for women. She said: “We have received the letter and will respond in due course. As set out in our strategy earlier this year, we need a whole society approach to tackling violence against women and girls and welcome joint working between the private sector and government.”
If the government does decide to introduce the ‘888’ emergency number users will be able to download a mobile phone app then they will enter their home address and other regular destinations they might use. Before the user starts to walk the user will then launch the app or call or even text ‘888’ which will then provide the expected journey time and complete tracking via GPS. A message would then be sent to the user at the time they were predicted to arrive home failure to respond would issue calls to the users emergency contacts and then eventually the police. The ‘888’ could also be used for taxi or public transport journeys, while another feature would allow users to send a one-touch alert to police. The new ‘888’ service is hoped that it will be in operation by Christmas 2021, BT has also been the provider for the 999 emergency number for 84 years.
Priti Patel has said: “This new phone line 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.”