In 2013, the South African Institute for Race Relations released a report highlighting that two years before, more than half of the crimes that occurred in the country were not reported to the police. Research suggests that the degree to which people feel hidden as they report a crime affects their decision to do so. Cry-Help arose as an endeavour to provide this sense of anonymity to crime reporters. The project further aimed to allow secure transportation and storage of the crime reports and information associated therewith so that the reporters' sense of privacy would be substantiated.
The project aimed to produce a prototype system with the following features:
a mobile application which allows people to report crime discreetly, especially victims thereof;
a secure way of transporting the reports to the police;
a way to keep the crime reports and any information related to them safe from unauthorised viewers, both within and outside the police organisation.