University of Glasgow Chooses SafeZone After IED Incident


Soon after Gary Stephen took over as Head of Security at the University of Glasgow, his team was tested in the most dramatic circumstances when an IED was received through the mail. The incident was dealt with successfully, and casualties were avoided, but organisational shortcomings were revealed so Gary was determined his officers would be better prepared for any future incidents. His priority was to achieve the most efficient possible team coordination, and to optimise situational awareness and mass communications capability.

After speaking to a peer, he learned SafeZone would meet all these objectives. The solution was easily rolled out and immediately delivered even more benefits than expected.


SafeZone Solution

At the University of Glasgow, SafeZone has delivered on its primary objective, increasing preparedness. The control room team can now see the precise location of every officer, in real-time, as well as the locations of support volunteers, such as fire wardens and first aiders.

Two-way direct communications makes it easy for the incident commander to direct responders rapidly to the locations where they are needed, to keep them updated as events unfold and to improve their coordination with emergency services.

Day to day, SafeZone is not just used by security officers; students and staff can use it 24/7 to request emergency response or general assistance anywhere on campus. It also lets users get in touch wherever they are, including when they travel abroad. Since it was deployed, it has enabled decisive interventions in a number of incidents including cases of sexual harassment, students at risk of stalking, and lone worker safety. In one case a student used SafeZone when she was threatened by a former partner. She was able to alert the security team, who pinpointed her precise location on the top floor of her tenement building, enabling police to make an arrest in under three minutes. Lone workers travelling and studying across Glasgow’s extensive and dispersed estate have been protected too, no matter if they are on or off campus, including researchers working alone in the university’s science laboratories out of hours, such as essential COVID projects.


Benefits and Outcomes

The University of Glasgow benefited from CriticalArc’s award winning customer success programme, with the SafeZone solution successfully introduced in just four weeks and high levels of uptake by students and staff. The service has improved student satisfaction with safety and security at the university, and in the future its use will be extended further by the security team to give high level protection to members of the university community travelling globally.

Solution benefits include:

  • High level incident preparedness assured through enhanced situational awareness, and command and control
  • Precise location pinpointing of team members allows optimised resource deployment
  • Best-available protection for staff working in isolated and quiet locations
  • Rapid implementation and ease of scalability with no extra cost
  • Major cost-savings compared with disparate systems, yet improved functionality
  • Improved collaboration with emergency services and other agencies
Our consultations with leading universities showed us that SafeZone would be the best technology to meet Glasgow’s security and safety priorities. Working with CriticalArc we have not been disappointed – our whole security team is now fully prepared for future emergencies, and better able to protect our community.
Gary Stephen, Head of Security, University of Glasgow

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