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SafeZone Helps Attract and Retain Students at Teesside University


Teesside University is an increasingly popular destination in the north-east of England for both local and overseas students, and it plays an important role in the Middlesbrough economy. As one of the town’s largest employers, the university has contributed to the economic and social regeneration of the wider region. Its security team, led by Claire Humble, is playing a key role in that success by ensuring a high level of safety, security, and wellbeing for students and staff.

SafeZone technology underpins the security team’s work by providing granular, geographically precise situational awareness of the first responders, and delivering high level command and control which enables officers to be dispatched to incidents much more quickly.

The assurance of personal safety provided by SafeZone is helping to attract students, particularly from overseas. Student satisfaction as measured in comparative surveys is higher too, which can help with student retention, thanks in part to better engagement between students and the security team which is helping to create a more welcoming learning environment. SafeZone has been nothing less than a transformative tool, says Claire Humble.


SafeZone Solution

Key to the successful deployment of SafeZone at Teesside is the high level of user engagement that Claire Humble and her team have achieved. Within just 12 months, over 4,000 students have become active users of the service, which enables them to access immediate emergency help, or routine advice, using a mobile app, with sign-ups increasing monthly. As a unified safety and security management solution, SafeZone lets Teesside’s security controllers see the precise locations of all checked-in users, as well as the current deployment status of active officers, first-aiders and fire wardens, letting them co- ordinate the most efficient response.

Key internal areas at the Middlesbrough campus are also equipped with 3D Indoor Positioning (IPS) technology, which means that SafeZone can provide valuable heat-mapping data to optimize patrol coverage by floor for added efficiency. SafeZone also serves as a powerful lone and high risk worker system.

SafeZone gives us improved situational awareness, lets us respond more quickly and is contributing to a wider sense of safety for our students. I’d definitely recommend SafeZone to any other university or institution.
CLAIRE HUMBLE, Head of Security, Teesside University
Campus, Student Life

The technology has proved its value in a range of incidents including, in one case, helping the police to track down two known criminals who had attempted to hide on the campus after a town centre robbery.

It is also allowing the university to extend its duty of care to students and staff who are travelling or working overseas on university business. For example, push notifications with safety advice were sent to students at risk due to civil unrest in Hong Kong.

And when a student who travelled abroad felt unsafe when they lost their wallet, the security team was able to provide immediate, step- by-step advice about what to do, and make sure that the student had access to temporary funds – all from their control room at the Middlesbrough campus. For Claire Humble this incident is proof of how well her team is now able to engage with students and add to the quality of their experience at Teesside.

Since the solution was implemented, a number of valuable new capabilities have been added, including the ability to send emergency notifications to digital screens around the campus. Looking ahead, CriticalArc is working closely with the university to introduce further technical enhancements requested by Claire Humble, and she says she particularly values the active, ongoing partnership with the company.


Benefits and Outcomes

SafeZone has transformed the security landscape at Teesside University, helping to reduce crime and safeguard students at two campuses and beyond. Solution benefits include:

  • Transformed engagement between security and students
  • Catalyst for improved team skills, motivation and performance
  • A major recruitment boost tied to enhanced safety and wellbeing
  • Advanced situational awareness, command and control during incidents
  • Protection of lone workers after- hours and in remote locations
  • Rapid implementation and ease of scalability with no extra cost
  • Greater visibility and recognition of the security team’s value by Teesside executives

How SafeZone Impacts Student Experience

CLAIRE HUMBLE, Head of Security, Teesside University

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