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Uni takes software

Northumbria University, pictured, has rolled out the command and control software SafeZone from CriticalArc.

The Newcastle-based university was looking to staff and student safety while reducing costs by raising the efficiency of everyday security operations across its six campuses. A SafeZone app lets Northumbria’s 30,000 students and staff summon security or safety assistance via a tap on their phone, which allows security staff to pinpoint their location.

The SafeZone app has three main features which can be accessed by staff and students at the tap of a button for emergency, first aid and general help. Pinpointing their location, security officers are dispatched to emergency and first aid requests, while a general help button connects to the Campus Services Helpdesk. Students and staff can also ‘check in’ to make the university’s security staff aware of their location while working alone or after hours.

The cloud-based system shares situational awareness across the security team, giving officers access to operational intelligence on the move, for more agile decision-making according to the product company. As events unfold, all staff have visibility of the incident and the locations of their colleagues on smart devices. SafeZone’s mass notification lets university security send alerts to all staff and students. Specific instructions can be sent to response teams, or targeted messages to groups such as wardens or people at a location. Mass notifications can be accompanied by loud tones to warn users campus-wide; or a discreet pulse to those perceived to be in the proximity of a threat.

John Anderson, Head of Security said: “We needed to consider what resources we had available to us to support initiatives like 24-7 access. When we investigated SafeZone, we were impressed with the features and how it could adapt to meet the needs of the University and the community. Using this campus safety system demonstrates a proactive step to differentiate ourselves and provide a leading example of how the health and safety of our stakeholders is high on the University’s agenda. We hope nobody has to use it but I feel 100 per cent confident that the resources we have in place, both technological and human, show our commitment to staff and student safety. Northumbria University is a safe place to work and study.”

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, EMEA Director, CriticalArc, added: “Northumbria University’s decision to implement SafeZone demonstrates their commitment to ensuring a safe learning environment for students and staff. This is a strategic win for CriticalArc with more to follow as we are continue to educate the market and work with universities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”


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