Canary Wharf to be first London business district to use WalkSafe’s Angel Beacons – 18.06.23

WalkSafe announced Canary Wharf is the first location in London to use their angel beacons and mark One Canada Square as a dedicated safe space.

Personal safety app WalkSafe has teamed up with Canary Wharf Group to mark the estate’s security team as ‘Angel Beacons’ on the WalkSafe app along with naming a dedicated Safe Space in the lobby of One Canada Square, marking a first for business districts in London.

Canary Wharf Group’s security team members can be easily found via their ‘Angel Beacons’ – trackable live locations – on the WalkSafe app, making them quicker and easier to approach for visitors and locals who are looking for safety assistance. The Safe Space at Canary Wharf’s One Canada Square, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week will also provide an environment for app users to receive assistance and wait safely if they need to.

The move comes as Canary Wharf Group seeks to ensure a safe and secure environment for its workers, residents and visitors, where regardless of the time of day, there will always be a member of their highly trained and engaging security team ready to assist. 

Associate Director of Security at Canary Wharf Group Mark Baker said; ‘We are dedicated to the safety and security of everyone visiting the Estate and our collaboration with WalkSafe will help by providing users with the reassurance that we are both visible and approachable if needed.  We are extremely proud to be the first business district in London to mark our security team as angel beacons and we hope this move will make our community feel safe that help is always on hand’.

Speaking of the initiative, WalkSafe founder Emma Kay added: “The response so far to this Canary Wharf Group initiative has been overwhelmingly positive and we couldn’t be more pleased to see such an influential and important area of London lead the way with this. We are delighted business districts are starting to use WalkSafe’s Angel Beacons and map their safe space premises on our safety app and would encourage more to do the same if they’re serious about protecting both residents and visitors.”

What is WalkSafe?

The innovative and free-to-download app, exists with the ambition of helping make the world a safer place, giving users the opportunity to put their personal safety first. From 2021-2022 sexual offences increased by 7% across the UK, in the London alone there was an increase of 53% in violent and sexual crimes committed; according to data collected from the country’s police forces (apart from Manchester who haven’t released their data since 2019) and analysed by WalkSafe+’s dedicated crime analyst.

WalkSafe houses a suite of clever, interactive tools, aimed to keep people safe. This includes regularly updated police crime data to show users where the recent crime hotspots are, so users can pick safer routes to walk home. WalkSafe is the only safety app to use official police crime statistics – designed as a unique live map so users can see the most recent crimes wherever they are.

What are the features?

  • A grand total of 1,985,563 violent and sexual offences were committed across the UK in 2021. WalkSafe has been developed to house a suite of features, each giving users the power to be in control of their own personal safety.
  • WalkSafe – Type in your destination and share your route with selected friends. Includes an estimated time of arrival so your family and friends know when you should arrive. Also includes information as to what crime has happened around you on your selected route.
  • HomeSafe – Share your route and estimated time of arrival with friends and loved ones. This feature will automatically alert your loved ones if you fail to arrive at your destination on time.
  • Follow Me – Share your location for a limited period of time, this is if you don’t have a specific destination in mind (e.g you’re going for a run or a walk), this allows your trusted circle to “follow you” on your journey.
  • SOS – hold down the SOS button on the WalkSafe map to alert your friends immediately that you are in danger.
  • Angel Beacons – currently only available for participating districts, Angel Beacons show the live location of Business District security teams.

Who is it for?

WalkSafe is predominantly used by women and people from marginalised communities, with over 500,000 users downloading it in the wake of Sarah Everard’s, and Sabina Nessa’s brutal murders. Whilst statistically most attacks happen against women, WalkSafe+ has been designed to make everyone and anyone feel that they have access to necessary information so they can make their own choices for their own personal safety.

Why was it founded?

The brainchild of 35-year-old Emma Kay, who as a daughter of a Met Police officer had many rules to Emma and her siblings stay safe when out and about. Over her lifetime, Emma has experienced intimidation, catcalling, following, groping, and flashing – events that sadly too many women and marginalised people have experienced.

As an adult, the working world expanded Emma’s perspective to experiences beyond her own. Volunteering at a community centre for people in crisis, she saw first-hand the experiences women had, specifically their fear of the streets at night, confirming her fear that personal safety really is an issue that affects everyone.

Emma’s career in childcare highlighted the importance of educating young girls and boys about issues like consent, gender bias and the importance of preventative actions. Emma built WalkSafe+ as she truly believes technology, combined with vision can genuinely save lives.