Rape victims should be able to report attacks on cash machines, says Tory London Assembly group leader

London Assembly member Andrew Boff wants similar technology for mobile phones

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The Independent Online

Victims of sexual assault should be able to report attacks via cash machines to encourage more people to come forward, a Conservative London Assembly member has said.

Group leader Andrew Boff is urging banks to adapt ATMs to allow victims to send short messages and their contact information directly to the police, who could respond by dispatching officers.

Speaking after the release of a new report by the London Assembly Tories, he said this would allow victims to report crimes against them anonymously.

The report, Improving the Reporting of Rape Using Technology, also calls for the creation of a specific mobile phone app that allows victims to report a serious sexual assault to police.

It estimates that 55,496 rape cases went unreported nationally between 2012 and 2013. In London, up to 38 incidents go unreported each day.

Mr Boff told The Evening Standard: “Victims of rape often can’t phone or visit the police for fear of being seen or overheard. But if someone is being controlled and has little time on their own, they could walk into a bank and send a short message on an ATM discreetly and anonymously, and make arrangements to meet police.

“With the highest number of rapes in England and Wales, London should lead the way with this cutting-edge technology. I’ll be urging the Mayor to get one of the capital’s high street banks to update their ATM technology through a sponsorship programme.”