A spokesperson for Facebook has confirmed that they have activated the I’M SAFE feature for anyone who is located temporarily or permanently within the town of Southend On Sea.
According to the social media giant, users will be able to let their loved ones know that they haven’t been beaten up, mugged, stabbed, shot or touched inappropriately with a simple tap in the Facebook smartphone app.
Facebook’s head of safety engagement Gunter Von Munter said: ‘We have listened to customer feedback, and thousands of Facebook users have said that they find Southend to be ‘a bit dodgy.’
‘They have also indicated that their loved ones panic like crazy every time that they visit the town, and so we are delighted to be using our technology for good.’
‘Whenever a user’s mobile phone detects using GPS that they are within the town boundary of Southend On Sea, they will get a notification where they can indicate if they are safe or not.’
‘If they indicate that they are in some sort of distress or trouble, they will be given directions to their nearest open police station. It may be in Kent or Suffolk, but they will get directions in any case.’
‘Area-specific advice will also be issued depending upon their precise location. For example, after 9pm in the town centre the phone will emit a loud ‘put me away’ message with a klaxon horn to prevent the expensive handset being stolen.’
A spokesperson for Southend Borough Council confirmed that the app feature will have a ‘blackout zone’ around the Seafront fountains due to child safeguarding concerns.