Overheard in Canggu: Incident reporting app aims to raise safety awareness in community

A screengrab of the live map feature on the Overheard in Canggu app.
A screengrab of the live map feature on the Overheard in Canggu app.

The Overheard fad certainly did not miss Bali, and since earlier this year, Instagram account @overheard_in_canggu has been providing us with entertaining snippets of conversations heard by passersby in the popular spot of Canggu.

Now, a newly launched incident reporting app of the same name and by the same people behind the “overheard” Instagram account is taking it to the next level and aiming to raise awareness on matters of safety for the community; not only in Canggu but elsewhere in Bali. 

“There had been some conversation[s] amongst the community about various incidents happening in Canggu and beyond,” an admin of @overheard_in_canggu, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Coconuts Bali via Instagram.

“We wanted to create a safe, and anonymous, space for people to be able to log incidents so we could provide some form of visibility to the community,” they added.

The app gathers user-generated data on incidents, so anyone who has experienced any theft, petty crime, or assault can submit incident forms through the app, along with the time and place.

Screengrabs of the app on a mobile phone.
Screengrabs of the app.

It’s important to note that the app isn’t linked to any authorities in Bali, so reporting an incident here is not equivalent to notifying the police. With live tracking on reports and locations, the app shows hot spots of locations where people may want to be extra cautious or avoid altogether, and even the times of when it is recommended to do so. According to the app’s FAQs, users can also log incidents outside of Canggu, such as in Uluwatu or Ubud.

In a blog post, the people behind Overheard in Canggu noted that “the last thing we want to do is spread fear” in the area, whereas they do want to suggest some safety tips, which include utilizing services from ride-hailing apps like Gojek, and having a go-to person to message before and after you travel; you know, the important basics. 

According to @overheard_in_canggu, the app has so far been well-received in the first week since it’s been launched ⁠— and at the time of publication, we can already see that over 50 incidents have been reported, ranging from sexual assault, theft, and physical assault.

For the time being, the app developers say they are not planning on sharing the data with authorities, but said they are open to receiving input from their community and followers.

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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