Local Crime Prevention expert, Gerry McBride says:
“The nights are drawing in, and I‘d like to take this opportunity, to remind you about the excellent personal safety app - Hollie Guard - a free smartphone app, designed to help protect anyone from potential danger.
“Hollie Guard turns your smartphone into an advanced personal safety device with a simple shake or tap, automatically sending your location and video/audio evidence to your nominated emergency contacts.
“You can add an individual and groups of contacts that will receive an email and SMS notification when an alert is raised, or a journey is created.
“If you’re in danger, you simply shake your phone or hold a button on screen to generate a silent alert. Your location, video and audio evidence of the incident will automatically be sent to your emergency contacts via text and email. Shake the phone again and it sets off a high-pitched alarm, and your phone light starts to flash to attract attention.
“From the minute you activate the app your location is tracked and can be viewed in real-time by your emergency contact. Evidence is not stored on the smartphone, but on secure servers so that it may be used as future evidence.
“When travelling, the ‘Journey’ feature allows you to notify your friends, family and co-workers of your movements. An email or text will be generated and sent to your emergency contacts when you have safely completed your journey.
‘Meetings’ allows you to identify when you are going to a meeting or working alone. An alert will automatically be created if the timer expires or you do not cancel the meeting.
‘Man down’ facility provides extra protection for users in situations when the user may become motionless, by alerting your emergency contact to a sudden deceleration, non-movement and impact.
“As soon as you download the app, familiarise yourself with the settings and experiment with it, so you are comfortable with how it works.
“Hollie Guard is ideal for everyone - when out and about, on a night out, travelling, for the kids going to and from school, out with their friends and many more applications.
“The app’s available free of charge for iPhone, Android and Windows phones.
“A monitored paid-for version of the app is also available for a monthly or yearly subscription.”
This app could be extremely useful and reassuring for local carers who are travelling in the dark to look after family members or for the person they care for when they are out and about in the community or home alone.
Simply go to hollieguard.com to register your profile. Your profile allows you to update personal information, view your alert/journey history, and change your password. Your profile is accessible via the App and website.
The app was commissioned by The Hollie Gazzard Trust, which was set up after the murder of Hollie Gazzard at her salon in Gloucester in 2014 by her then-boyfriend, who had actively stalked Hollie during an abusive relationship.
The Trust also helps reduce domestic violence through creating and delivering programmes on domestic abuse and promoting healthy relationships to schools and colleges.