New Mobile Phone App – Choices: Stay Safe, Be Aware

YOUNG SOLUTIONS IS PARTNER IN NEW PHONE APP

This is the age of the mobile phone. Whether in public spaces or around the home, the overwhelming majority of young people have their eyes and fingers fully engaged with their mobile phones. It’s a rarity to use the phone for speaking and texting is becoming less common place, amongst young people the phone is for Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Phone apps also proliferate with the app tiles featuring on most young people’s mobile screens. It was because of this trend that the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner decided to work on the development of an app designed to raise awareness of the forms of anti-social behaviour and crime that impacts young people’s lives. The Police and Crime Commissioner invited young people from across West Mercia to submit ideas for an app. A proposal from a group of young people from St John’s Middle School in Bromsgrove was selected as the basis for the app.

A key partner in the development of the app was the University of Worcester who did all the technical work in its preparation. The app contains a series of videos filmed by a company called Stormvideos. Those acting in the videos came from North Bromsgrove High School and Perfect Circle Theatre Group. The topic of the videos includes hate crime, inappropriate relationships, theft and bullying. Each topic has a short video clip which poses a dilemma and the app user is given a choice of responses, which then leads into another video clip depicting the consequences of making that choice. The app is aimed at young people in Years 7 and 8 in schools and Young Solutions was involved in the field testing of the app with young people in schools and youth organisations across the West Mercia policing area. There was largely a positive response to the app, but the young people’s expressed reluctance about speaking to someone, should they be the victim of anti-social or criminal incidents, was a cause for concern.

choices app images

The app is simply known as Choices and goes under the strapline ‘Stay Safe, Be Aware’. The app was launched earlier in the summer at the University of Worcester Arena by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion. He said “This app is a fantastic and engaging way of guiding young people through some really important subjects; particularly if they’re being affected by them and perhaps aren’t sure where to turn”. The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play – Search for Choices: stay safe, be aware. Young Solutions will be working with the Police and Crime Commissioner in promoting the app and making all young people aged 11 – 13 years in the West Mercia policing area aware of the app.

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