A technology entrepreneur is helping a charity tackle hate crime in the region with the launch of a new app.
David Frazier, managing director of Techno Snowball, has developed a hate crime reporting app for national charity Stop Hate UK.
Mr Frazier, who is based at the Leeds Digital Hub, was commissioned to design the app after Stop Hate UK received funding from the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
“I think it’s an amazing product and it helps people,” Mr Frazier, who has been working with Stop Hate UK for over six years, said. The application, available on Android and iOS, has only just recently been rolled out across West Yorkshire.
Mr Frazier says the Stop Hate UK app differs from other hate crime reporting apps because it’s bespoke to the region.
The tech entrepreneur believes that his design could be adapted for other areas across the country.
Rose Simkins, chief executive of Stop Hate UK, says the charity had been looking at launching an app for a while.
“For years we’ve been thinking about it but didn’t have the resources to do it,” she said.
“We were fortunate to receive funding from the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner as part of their work on hate crime.”
Techno Snowball got involved with the charity a few years ago when Stop Hate UK needed its website launching.
Mr Frazier helped develop the site with online chat functions, making it easier to report hate crime.
Launching an app was a natural progression for the charity, Ms Simkins said, as hate crime is being seen more and more on technology platforms.
“In terms of technology what’s happening is that there is more and more online hate that we’re uncovering,” she said.
Perpetrators of hate crime are ahead of people trying to stop it because they spotted the opportunities offered online early on.
“The haters are a long way ahead of the people who are trying to stop it because they saw the internet as some great opportunity,” says Ms Simkins.
However, hate crime isn’t necessarily organised as sometimes it’s individuals saying things they wouldn’t otherwise say in the street.
Stop Hate UK’s app works by allowing people to take a picture, video or audio recording and upload it directly from their phone.
The phone can also provide a GPS location if the users allows it to. The crime can be reported anonymously.
Mr Frazier said: “A lot of the other apps you have to pre-register so they’ve got all your details. People don’t want to do that if they feel threatened.”
The charity’s workers then pick up the report and look at further action or get in contact with the victims for further details if necessary.
Mr Frazier says the app could be rolled out further to cater to specific geographical needs or for reporting of particular types of hate crime.
3D TV... without the glasses
David Frazier has been running his own business for 12 years. Techno Snowball uses technology to help other businesses and organisations market themselves.
He said: “The main thing that I do that I’ve been working on for five or six years now is 3D TV displays that don’t need glasses.
“I’m talking to McDonald’s at the moment about doing a pilot for them.”
Techno Snowball also creates websites and applications.
Mr Frazier is based at the Leeds Digital Hub, a co-working space for technology businesses and start-ups.
The hub is run by Leeds Beckett Enterprise and Innovation in partnership with The Yorkshire Post.