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CriticalArc announced that its pioneering SafeZone personal protection and campus security system has been selected by Swansea University to boost 24/7 safety for its students and staff both on and off campus.

Swansea University is the latest in a fast-growing list of UK higher education establishments to choose SafeZone, following its European launch in 2014. The university has more than 19,000 students, including many international students, studying on a range of courses from Engineering, Law and Criminology, Arts and Humanities, Science, Medical, Human and Health Science, and Business Management supported by just over 3,000 staff (includes academics).

SafeZone campus security system

SafeZone will be deployed at the two principal campuses, that is, the Singleton Park and the Bay Campuses, as well as 7 other sites frequented by students and staff in the Swansea Bay region, where it will offer enhanced protection for any staff and student when they are at risk or need urgent help. It will meet the need of the campus security teams to support an increasingly round-the-clock learning culture that offers safe 24/7 access to libraries, study hubs, and other facilities.

A major benefit will be the creation of safe corridors between each campus, its halls of residence, and popular destinations such as the train and bus stations. Additional monitoring and response cover along these thoroughfares will offer extra protection for people walking alone late at night. SafeZone protection will also extend to designated areas off campus, for example, for individuals on field trips, research projects or international placements, anywhere in the world.

Distributed command and control platform

SafeZone will equip the University with a cost-effective, people-centred safety solution plus an effective distributed command and control platform for managing response and mass communication during small or large-scale emergencies. All staff and students will be able to download the free smartphone app that makes it easy for them to raise a location-based alert at the touch of a button, so eliminating potential language or communication barriers.

"SafeZone will enhance our ability to respond appropriately to any event, whether it’s a call for first aid, fire alarm, or a major incident"

Ideally suited to dispersed estates, SafeZone is fast and easy to implement, alleviating the need to invest in additional physical security measures such as help points. It will give Swansea University access to zero-cost, targeted mass notifications, privacy-compliant group management functionality and a host of features like lone worker check-in. These force-multiplier capabilities will significantly improve its ability to enable collaboration between security first responder and volunteers such as building wardens during critical incidents as well as improving the efficiency of everyday team operations.

Integrated security strategy

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, from CriticalArc said: “It is great to be working with Swansea University as our first Welsh University. The team at Swansea University share a similar vision for real time situational awareness to us and have a great vision for the solution to include collaborating with local authorities and private organisations alike for a smart city which is envisaged will lead to further safety and security initiatives that will benefit staff and students alike. We very much look forward to a close working relationship with Swansea University as an industry leader in this space.”

Russ Huxtable, Head of Resilience & Business Continuity at Swansea University said: “We have implemented an integrated security strategy for our University in order to provide, as far as practicable, a secure and safe environment for those who use, study, or work at the university. We are always looking at innovative ways to further mitigate risk, enable rapid response readiness, and fulfil our duty of care. By complementing our existing health and safety measures, SafeZone will enhance our ability to respond appropriately to any event, whether it’s a call for first aid, fire alarm, or a major incident. Using SafeZone to ensure a consistent security approach across our campus locations and beyond will provide an extra level of protection to give all students and staff added peace of mind.”

SafeZone went live at Swansea University in September 2016, initial reaction to the service is extremely positive matched by a strong continuous uptake for the scheme which is only expected to increase further when the new University term begins in September 2017.

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