These anonymised case studies of the Self Evident app in use have been compiled from app data and user surveys.
Emma managed to escape an abusive relationship several years ago, and her ex-husband was excluded by an occupation order. In spite of this, he continued to follow and intimidate her.
Using the app’s evidence validation function, Emma was able to show he had breached the order. She sent time-stamped photo evidence to the MPS, along with a validated statement describing what had happened.
She said she wouldn't have reported so promptly without the app. She had spent ages waiting on 101 before, and her local police station was closing down and the next nearest was miles away, without any parking.
With the app, she could record and send her account straight away. She found this helpful, as it was a long time before she was asked to make a formal statement, and by then some of the details were hazy. She said she found it easier to describe a difficult emotional situation using the app, rather than face to face or on the phone. Emma was very pleased with the way the Met Police handled the case.
Joy is a single mum who lives on an estate in south London. While there’s a happy mix of people, there are a few characters who can act like they own the place – and if they’re wound up or out of their head when they see you, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When that happened to Joy late one evening, it all got well out of hand. She ended up being threatened with a gun – and right in front of Chantelle, her five year old. Joy knew if she didn’t do something, she and Chantelle would end up sitting in the flat afraid to go out. Later when she didn’t want to phone the police because Chantelle was asleep, she looked on the internet to see if she could report it online. The Met police site wouldn’t let her report the incident online and as Crimestoppers was anonymous that couldn’t help.
Seeing an ad for the Self Evident app, she decided to give it a go. While she liked the idea that it let her send photos to the police, what really attracted her was that the police would have her details and be able to get back to her. In fact just having the app on her phone started to give Joy back a sense of confidence that she could do something and she could get something done.
The Met got back to Joy quickly and said they’d do what they could to help. They put the man under observation and had grounds to arrest him a couple of days later. He got put inside for a few days and when he was back out, he seemed to have calmed down a bit. Joy thinks a lot of young people would feel safer if they had this app so someone should tell them about it.
Sophia was on the bus one afternoon in Harringay, when a man standing nearby began to lean on her. Unsure what to do at first, Sophia tried to ignore him but it went on for some time. Eventually the man was pressing his backside against her.
This wasn't the first time she had suffered sexual harassment. Even so she was worried about reporting it to the police, as in the past this had left her feeling vulnerable and anxious. But a friend recommended Self Evident. She felt an app would be easier, and particularly liked the option of sending video.
Sophia reported the incident with the app, pinpointing where it happened on a map. She added a time-stamped video statement explaining what happened, as well as photo evidence. The Met Police accessed her report within a couple of hours, and she was very grateful for their quick email response sending someone to see her.
“There is an elderly gentleman with a beige coat who comes into ABC cafe during the mornings and films small children, girls and boys. I have witnessed this a number of times. Yesterday morning he took photos of my 7 year old who was visibly shaken by the incidents. He refused to delete it as he said it's his phone. He tries to strike up conversations directly with the children despite us parents telling him not to. He showed up again this morning. We left immediately and walked a different route as we were scared he was going to follow us. I'm not sure if there is anything you can do. He is scaring children and putting parents on edge as a lot of children have breakfast there as it’s near two schools.”
It was when Nicky left the café that she downloaded the app, which another parent had mentioned. Nicky says it was really easy to use – she just typed in this brief summary of what happened, flagged the location on the map and sent it to the police. Soon after she got to work in the city, the police rang. They were brilliant and later came to see her at home. As it turned out they knew about this man, the Met put plain clothes officers into the café who arrested him when he started filming young girls.
Nicky is sure she wouldn’t have reported it if she hadn’t had the app. She’d have got to work, gone straight into a meeting and put it out of her mind. She says she wouldn’t have wanted to ring the police from work as other people would’ve heard all about it and her bosses mightn’t have liked it. Nicky comments, “It’s brilliant that you can report crime by smartphone, as it lets you log what happened really quickly and without anyone noticing - for all they know, you could be playing a game on your phone”.
“I saw two Asian men in a smart new car parked off the road near a private farm. They had a large box near what looks like a large pile of fertiliser. No one else was around. The road there in the morning is a little busy so others would have seen them clearly. No major viewing obstructions. They were just sat talking, but what makes me wonder is the box and what a smart car is doing in the middle of nowhere. My worry isn't of someone taking this stuff for simply gardening, more so the thought of it being used as something more, like ingredients for violence if this is something they use?! The photo I took with the app has more details.”
In the survey, Dave said he doubts he would have reported this if he had not had the app.