Female students in Warsop have been learning how to stay safe by using an app that enables their mobile phone to act as a body cam and panic button.
The pupils at Meden School learned about the free-to-download Hollie Guard app which helps to track users and can be discreetly activated to record evidence of real time events if a user feels threatened.
Of 24 students who attended the presentation, 18 signed up for the app after the session.
The educational workshop was part of a £300,000 Safer Streets campaign in the Warsop area delivered in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Mansfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Police and other support agencies in the area, which is focusing on making women and girls feel safer.
The campaign is also funding a year's free access to Hollie Guard Extra, an enhanced paid-for version of the free app. The Extra version gives users 24/7 access to a professional police-approved monitoring team who can send help if required.
Of 200 free subscriptions available to residents in the Warsop area, nearly half have been claimed. The rest are available on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Through Safer Streets we have delivered a range of projects to make women and girls feel safer in Warsop, including Safe Spaces in shops and new CCTV cameras in public spaces.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to do more to make people feel even safer. By making young people aware of the Hollie Guard app and offering free subscriptions we are trying to do everything we can to support local people – whilst showing perpetrators that there is zero tolerance for violence against women and girls in Warsop.”
Portfolio Holder for Wellbeing, Health, and Safer Communities, Councillor Angie Jackson, said: "We hope this gives people, and particularly women and girls who feel vulnerable or at risk in Warsop, more confidence to get out and about with peace of mind that help is at their fingertips.
"All the Safer Streets measures, we hope, will lead to an improved quality of life for everyone in Warsop."
The Warsop Safer Street campaign is part of a wider £3m scheme funded by the government via the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire for projects across the city and county.
As well as the Hollie Guard app, the students at Meden School also learned about other improvements being made in Warsop to make it safer, including:
- New CCTV cameras which are being installed in Carr Lane Park, Clumber Street, Sherwood Street, Coral Crescent, The Carrs.
- Improved street lighting planned at the The Carrs, Sherwood Street and Clumber Street.
- Youth engagement activities and outreach sessions being run with youth engagement organisation Switch Up at Carr Lane Park and other locations.
- One-to-one mentoring sessions being held with secondary school pupils
- Healthy relationship lessons being run in schools.
- Businesses in Warsop offering a Safe Space for anyone who feels worried, at risk or in danger. So far Jins Chinese, The Plough Inn, Greetings, Cedars veterinary practice, Warsop Library and Vibrant Warsop are offering Safe Spaces. More will be added in the coming year.
About the Hollie Guard app
Anyone can download the basic Hollie Guard app free from the App Store or Google Play. The app acts as a discreet panic button that can be activated in stealth mode by shaking it or tapping it without indicating to those around that a user is on their phone.
It tracks the users' precise location in real-time so that if they activate an alert, the app pinpoints a location and sends details to a user's chosen emergency contacts.
It also activates the phone’s camera and microphone to capture evidence. A user's emergency contacts can access these recordings in real time. The recordings are not stored on the user's phone but on cloud-based secure servers for future use as evidence.
The app also has a timer function that enables users facing a potentially dangerous meeting or situation to set a specific countdown. If a user marks themselves as safe, the countdown is deactivated. If it is not de-activated, an alert will automatically be sent once the countdown reaches its limit.
Another feature of the app is being able to log a journey. Users set a start and end point. The app then monitors a user's journey and alerts their nominated contacts, and once they mark they have safely arrived, it triggers an alert.
The Extra paid-for version of the app also sends any panic button alerts to a control centre staffed 24/7 by a professional police-approved monitoring team, who will respond if app users are in danger or if a user's emergency contacts are unable to respond. All app users can choose when to share their location and have control over their data.
The Hollie Gazzard Trust developed the app to protect both women and men from possible danger. The Trust was set up by the parents and sister of Hollie Gazzard, who was murdered by an ex-partner in 2014 at her place of work in Gloucester.
Posted on Wednesday 12th July 2023