The free app, which was first released in July 2013, allows users to confidentially report incidents they may see, hear or witness at a match. It can operate on over 95% of smartphones and the second version has focused on gathering more conclusive evidence for investigations, with new functionality allowing media to be attached to reports.
A very significant new addition is the option to report incidents of football-related hate crime on social media platforms. This comes after Kick It Out revealed 50% of complaints it received for the 2013/14 season related to social media abuse, and research commissioned by the organisation in April 2015 also estimated an abusive post was directed at a Premier League player or club once every 2.6 minutes.
Complainants can now shield their identifying information from professional clubs and the football authorities by clicking the ‘remain anonymous’ button contained within the reporting form. Women’s Super League clubs have also been included in this version.
Steps have also been taken to make reporting grassroots and non-league incidents more user-friendly. Selecting grassroots and non-league comes at the very top of the reporting form and there are now less entry fields, making complaints clearer and more concise.
The first release of the app built upon well-established methods of reporting, including via E-Mail and Freephone. It was a huge success, with 38% of all complaints from the professional game in 2013/14 coming via the app as part of an overall 269% increase in reports made to Kick It Out. The latest set of statistics show 36% of reports registered in relation to the professional game came via the app - making it the most-used mechanism at that level.
The free Kick It Out app is available on iOS and Android devices. You can download it now from the App Store (http://apple.co/1TtGd51) and Google Play (http://bit.ly/1JcEguj). To find out more about how we combat discrimination, click here. Information is also shared on Twitter @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.