These are the best street safety apps to help you feel safe walking home

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  • Zara Aleena was murdered on Sunday 26 June while she was walking home in East London.

    The 35-year-old was found by members of the public with “serious head injuries” at approximately 2.45am. She later died in hospital.

    The “opportunist stranger attack” took place 10 minutes from her home, on Cranbrook Road, Ilford, with 29-year-old Jordan McSweeney charged with her murder, attempted rape and robbery.

    In a heartbreaking tribute, the family of Zara Aleena called for urgent action on street safety and an end to violence against women.

    “She was fierce: she didn’t just survive, she thrived”, read the statement. “She walked everywhere. She put her party shoes in a bag and donned her trainers. She walked. Zara believed that a woman should be able to walk home. Now, her dreams of a family are shattered, her future brutally taken.

    “Sadly, Zara is not the only one who has had her life taken at the hands of a stranger. We all know women should be safe on our streets. She was in the heart of her community, 10 minutes from home. We all need to be talking about what happened to OUR ZARA, we all need to be talking about this tragedy.

    “In a savage, sickening, act she was murdered by a stranger. She’s not the only woman who has lost her life like this. In the moment of this tragedy, we extend our deepest sympathy and love to the families of Bibaa Henry; Nicole Smallman; Sarah Everard; Sabina Nessa; Ashling Murphy and many more women.”

    As people unite to call for more action, there are increasing numbers of ways that we can make ourselves feel safer on the streets.

    Among these are personal safety apps.

    From sending your GPS coordinates to your emergency contacts to alerting you to crime figures of the area you are walking through, these apps have the potential to save your life. But on an everyday level, they can also provide reassurance and a sense of security as you walk home.

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    Best street safety apps: 6 to download to feel safe walking home

    1. WalkSafe

    Price: Free,

    WalkSafe is a free map-based personal safety app, not only alerting you to your surroundings but also updating your emergency contacts with your location. The app shows recent crime figures of the areas that you are walking through and alerts you to avoid spots where crimes have been reported, helping you to choose a safe route. It also sends your location to your emergency contact if you don’t make your estimated time of arrival and allows you to notify them with a tap if you’re feeling unsafe.

    2. One Scream

    Price: Free,

    One Scream is a free voice-activated safety app that is designed to notify your emergency contact if it detects your scream. Once it has recognised your scream or panic word, a text message and an automated call will be sent to your nominated contacts with details of your location. You can add up to three nominated contacts and are able to cancel your alarm within 20 seconds of the scream.

    3. Red Panic Button

    Price: Free,

    Red Panic Button is an emergency safety app based around one very simple feature, pushing the red panic button. If you are feeling in danger, by pushing the red panic button app, your emergency contacts will immediately be sent a text and an email of your GPS Google Maps coordinates.

    4. SafeUp

    Price: Free,

    SafeUp is a free app and community safety network, connecting women and girls with trained women in their area to help them feel safe. SafeUp will link you up with a female ‘Guardian’ to help give you support, guidance or even physical assistance.

    5. Life360

    Price: Free, but with limited features. The app has options to upgrade to its tiered membership packages,

    Life360 is a family location sharing app, allowing you to track the real-time location of your key contacts and receive alerts when they arrive at or leave a destination. The basic app is free, but it also has options to purchase additional features with its silver, gold and platinum memberships.

    6. Circle of 6

    Price: Free,

    Circle of 6 is a free mobile app that notifies your emergency contacts when you’re in trouble and explains how they can help. Your circle is made of up to 6 friends or trusted contacts, who can be notified with just two taps of your phone about where you are and what they can do. As well as your GPS coordinates, your circle will be sent a message depending on the situation you find yourself in. These include ‘I need to talk’, ‘Call and pretend you need me – I need an interruption’ and ‘Come and get me – I need help getting home safely.’

    We will continue to update this story.

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