New app tackles non-league abuse
Fans, players and officials will find it even easier to take action against abuse this season after Kick it Out released an updated version of its reporting app.
First launched last season with the backing by the Football Association, the free app now provides users with the ability to attach video, photo and audio evidence to help investigators gather evidence for complaints into discriminatory abuse and behaviour across football.
The new version also allows complainants to shield their identifying information from professional clubs and the football authorities by clicking the ‘remain anonymous’ button contained within the reporting form.
Steps have also been taken to make reporting grassroots and Non-League incidents more user-friendly with the option to report incidents at the very top of the reporting form.
Developers have also ensured there are now less entry fields, making complaints clearer and more concise using the app which can now be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store.
Covering over 95 per cent of smartphones and available on iOS and Android devices, Kick It Out’s app has been a huge success since the FA and the anti-racism charity teamed up last March to launch their new ‘Report IT’ campaign with the help of former England stars Graeme Le Saux and Dion Dublin.
After seeing a 269 percent overall rise in reporting abuse last season in the professional game and 38 per cent coming via the app, campaigners say it is now the most-used mechanism for registering complaints at that level.
Kick It Out’s reporting officer Anna Jӧnsson said: “The updated version of the Kick It Out app allows complainants to provide us with a greater level of evidence to support investigations.
“We have seen the app become one of the most prominent and popular mechanisms used to report incidents since its release in 2013, and took the decision last year to strengthen its level of functionality.
“We have particularly seen the use of video evidence play a key role in highlighting discriminatory behaviour and it is important we give complainants the opportunity to bring this to our attention if they have the footage recorded.
“With the constant advances we are seeing in technology, it is important we make sure the app reflects these developments as we look to ensure appropriate action is taken against perpetrators in as many cases as we can.
“The concern over escalating levels of football-related hate crime on social media platforms has been taken into account and we have developed a special form within the app which allows users to attach screenshots of the abuse.
“We know incidents at grassroots and Non-League levels go under-reported and we want the app to empower people – building confidence is crucial and all users have the ability to remain anonymous when filing a complaint.”