A new app has been launched with the aim of targeting hate crime in West Yorkshire.
The device has been developed in conjunction with the charity Stop Hate UK and allows people to report cases anonymously and to take a picture, video or audio recording of an incident and upload it directly from their phone.
The app is the brainwave of David Frazier, managing director of Techno Snowball which is based at the Leeds Digital Hub, and was funded by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. It is available on both Android and iOS,
“I think it’s an amazing product and it helps people,” said Mr Frazier, who helped develop Stop hate UK’s website as well.
Rose Simkins, chief executive of Stop Hate UK, said: “The new App complements our own helplines and other reporting channels and, by capturing images of incidents, can provide the additional evidence needed to successfully investigate incidents.
“The information in the App about Hate Crime and other partner agencies within West Yorkshire will help people seek help as and when they are ready to do so – be that immediately after an incident or when they feel ready.
“All forms of Hate Crime are significantly under-reported. Some individuals and communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council. The App gives victims and witnesses a safe and independent way to tell our charity about their experiences and to explore their options for taking things further.”
The app has been developed in a way that means it could be rolled out further to other geographical areas.
Earlier this month West Yorkshire Police revealed the number of hate crimes had increased in the past year, most noticeably those targeting religion, and Islam in general.
The force said overall hate crimes in 2015/16 had risen by 62 per cent, with ‘faith hate’ crimes targeting specific religious groups up by 192 per cent.
Of the 178 faith hate crimes recorded in this period, only 36 resulted in charges.