Newcastle University Students Union Bldg

Newcastle University Case Study

Newcastle University

Newcastle University’s adoption of SafeZone® enables a consistent approach to security and safety across its entire international estate. During an emergency, managers and first responders now have complete situational awareness, ensuring the fastest and most appropriate response.

Newcastle University is a world-class civic university, based in central Newcastle and next door to another SafeZone university – Northumbria. The University is home to one of the UK’s top medical schools and has campuses in London, Malaysia, and Singapore.

SafeZone is a unified safety and security solution which includes a mobile app for users that is helping to keep students and staff safe, as well as NHS employees who regularly access the University’s facilities, by making it easy for anyone to request emergency or medical assistance. For example: the system was used when a member of staff slipped on ice in the car park, broke her hip and was at risk of exposure due to bitterly cold conditions

“SafeZone is giving us the tools we need to protect the university’s community around the world. We now have a consistent and measurable approach with SafeZone giving students and staff the support they need wherever they are.”
SHED COULTHARD - Estates Security Manager

SafeZone offers multiple safety, security and operational benefits but two specific aspects are proving invaluable for Newcastle University: the system’s scalability and flexibility, along with the availability of a desktop app.

SafeZone allows an unlimited number of areas to be geo-fenced and immediately added into the system as required. As a result, Newcastle University has been able to significantly expand its security coverage and responsibilities to include new buildings, such as its cutting-edge research facility in Singapore. And at no extra cost.

In addition, as the university’s facilities are refurbished, Safezone provides continued reassurance for staff and students needing to relocate to temporary accommodation.

“Without a doubt it’s a fantastic platform. I don’t think we have realised its full potential yet. It’s something that will grow and grow. Students love it. Parents love it. It’s just a very versatile tool that can answer a lot of issues.”
SHED COULTHARD - Estates Security Manager

Newcastle University also integrated SafeZone’s desktop app into its IT network and anyone working on-site after hours is encouraged to sign in and to take advantage of the improved safety monitoring available. And so, after hours, the control room knows exactly where people are and can compile accurate muster lists in case of an emergency.

SafeZone is also on hand to protect lone workers, both on campus and off campus i.e. to those involved in community-based research projects, who tend to feel particularly vulnerable in unfamiliar neighbourhoods.

The system has been exceptionally well received by the University’s security team which has several SafeZone champions who regularly attend events – such as staff welcome days and Student Union meetings to actively promote the service and encourage sign-ups.

“Every one one of my security officers has the SafeZone and OmniGuard software that they carry with them on mobile phones. The good thing for us is it saves a lot of time on deployment so we’re not looking for people to attend to an incident, we can see who the closest person is, so from that point of view it’s given us very, very good resource utilization.”
SHED COULTHARD - Estates Security Manager
Uni Grads

As a result, SafeZone is now an integral part of life at Newcastle University and at Northumbria University too. The two universities already share some of each other’s facilities, while its two security teams are increasingly collaborating on best security practices.

They also support jointly hosted activities such as a recently organised off-campus Fresher’s Week party. Going forward, their aspiration is to work with the City Council, Northumbria Police and other agencies to see Newcastle recognised as one of the UK’s safest cities, as well as for its award-winning universities, lifestyle and vibrant nightlife.

”The personal wellbeing of students and staff is our top priority and while we uphold an impeccable record on safety - in a city widely regarded as one of the safest places to study in the UK – we are always open to innovative use of technology to ensure that we continue to deliver the best possible student experience.”
SHED COULTHARD - Estates Security Manager

Benefits & Outcomes

SafeZone is helping Newcastle University to provide the same consistently high level of student and staff safety across all its locations and activities.

System benefits include:

  • Increasing Newcastle’s appeal to students (and their parents) as a safe institution
  • Protecting all lone workers including security officers
  • Scalability with no extra costs
  • Up to 50% faster incident response times
  • Fully supports after hours working
“I think one of the key issues is the relationship that you have right up to the top. I mean you’ve got Glenn (CEO), Jahmai (CTO), and Darren (Managing Director). These are the guys right at the top of the tree so you’re not dealing with somebody who has just said, ‘That’s your Account Manager, that’s it.’ We’re dealing with the decision makers and they’re prepared to listen to us so that’s the main difference for me.”
SHED COULTHARD - Estates Security Manager

Newcastle University’s use of SafeZone enables a consistent approach to security and safety across its entire campus and provides first responders complete situational awareness, ensuring the fastest and most appropriate response.

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