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 Police are encouraging people across the county to download a free personal safety app to their smartphones to help them feel and stay safe as part of the #safesummer campaign

 

Hollie Guard is an app that can track a person’s location as they make their way home, exerciseing, or simply going about their day-to-day tasks.

If at any point they feel unsafe, a shake of the phone will send an alert to a group of pre-set contacts to warn them that they may be in danger. Once the phone has been shaken, it will then start recording both audio and video footage of what’s happening around them.

The recording will be saved and automatically sent to their nominated contacts so they can see what is happening and call the police or ambulance service if needed. A further shake will make the phone flash and emit a high-pitched alarm which will to alert people nearby that that person may be in danger.

Detective Chief Supt Andy Cox said the Force is endorsing the app to help women and girls feel and be safer in the wake of growing awareness of their vulnerabilities across the UK over the past year.

“We will not tell women and girls not to walk alone,” he said. “We will not tell women and girls that they should change their behaviour. Attacks are never the result of the behaviour of the victim. It is, 100%, always the fault of the perpetrator.

“What we will do is help equip them with the tools that could help them stay safe, and that’s why we are supporting this app to help people in the county to feel safe when they are out in their communities – be it keeping fit, meeting someone new, or just to monitor their journey home.

“It is a really simple app to download and set up, and I would encourage people of all ages and genders to make use of it. One shake of the phone at a time when you can’t stop and call 999 could mean the difference between help coming when you need it.”

Key features of the app include:

  • Journey – Allows a person to travel safely and confidently, by providing their emergency contacts with real-time updates of their movements as they move between two places.
  • Meeting – This function allows the person to identify when they are going to a potentially dangerous meeting or working alone. An alert will automatically be created if the timer expires, or they do not cancel the meeting.
  • Man Down – When enabled, the Man Down feature allows the app to automatically detect if the user has had a sudden fall or has stopped moving for a period of time. This provides peace of mind, including when: walking the dog, out on a run alone, working at heights and commuting.
  • Report Feature – The report feature allows the user to record an incident quickly and easily with supporting photo evidence which is automatically categorised, time stamped, geo tagged. This feature can be used to create a log of events which can be used as evidence if required. All reports will get saved to the Hollie Guard server and not on the user’s device.
  • Duress Pin – If a person is being forced to cancel an alert, they can enter the Duress Pin of 9999. The alert will appear to have been cancelled, but will remain active on Hollie Guard’s secure server, so they will know the person has been forced to cancel an alert.

The app was set up in memory of 20-year-old Hollie Gazzard, following her murder in 2014 by an ex-partner. The Hollie Gazzard Trust, set up by parents Nick and Mandy, along with sister Chloe, helps reduce domestic violence through creating and delivering programmes on domestic abuse and promoting healthy relationships to schools and colleges.

The ultimate aim of the Trust is to positively change the lives of young people through partnerships in communities, as well as working alongside other charities and professional agencies.

For more information and to find out how to download the app, please visit www.hollieguard.com.

To download Hollie Guard on to your or a loved one’s phone simply:

  • Go to your App store and download the Hollie Guard app.
  • Enter your registration details.
  • Sign in
  • IMPORTANT: Enter your emergency contact or multiple contacts – please use someone you know who can react to your alert in an emergency. They will receive an SMS notification to highlight that you are in danger.
  • You are now ready to set up your personal alerts.
  • Please see the user guide to activate each type of alert.
  • We take a proactive approach to your safety, and we therefore encourage you to turn on Hollie Guard BEFORE you are in a potentially dangerous situation – for example BEFORE walking home after a night out.