Harassment is such a threat in Japan that the country has introduced women-only train-carriages. Of course, unable to completely solve the ubiquitous problem, these were limited and were met with some controversy. Enter Digi Police. It’s an app that will start screaming if you’re faced with unnecessary attention. Not the most subtle of apps, but very efficient.
“Stop it! There’s a molester. Please help,” yells the app when triggered. The system also releases this same message as text, displaying it in large font and bold orange on your phone’s display.
The Guardian reports that Digi Police has been downloaded more than 237,000 times since it was introduced three years ago. Policemen say that this is an unusually high number for a public service app. “Thanks to its popularity, the number [of downloads] is increasing by about 10,000 every month,” said a police official.
Groping is a very serious issue in Japan, especially in rush hour when the trains are packed and culprits are able to sneak off without being noticed. In 2017 there were more than 900 cases reported to the police. According to officials, this figure represents only a fraction of the reality, since many victims are afraid to come forward with their stories.