AN APP created to keep people safe in the wake of the murder of a young woman in Gloucester has taken the mobile world by storm. There have been more than 5,000 downloads of Hollie Guard since it was launched in October 2015 by the Hollie Gazzard Trust. Such is the interest in the personal safety programme that several police forces, county councils, colleges and universities around the UK are clamouring to be introduce to it. Downloads have even been made from people in Holland and Gibraltar. It was set up in the wake of Hollie Gazzard’s murder by her former partner Asher Maslin at hairdressers Fringe Benefits where she worked in Gloucester.Hollie’s father Nick, who is also chairman of the Hollie Gazzard Trust, said he was delighted with the reaction. “While there have been other similar apps on the market they have been marketed differently,” he said. “We are certainly seeing results, which is great. We have people coming back to us saying they were much more comfortable and safer when they were going back out and about. “They have said it is really easy to use so there’s some great comments coming through. “The ingenious free app is designed to transform your phone into an advanced personal safety tool at the touch of a button. When activated it will track your movements as you move about and then if you feel you are in danger you can shake it to put it in alert mode. When this is done your location as well as audio and video evidence will automatically be sent to your emergency contacts via text and email. It means they can ring the police with an exact location and what is happening as well as evidence to prosecute the potential offender. A further shake will make the phone send out a high-pitched alarm and the flash starts to strobe, attracting maximum attention. Hollie Guard was developed by Panic Guard Ltd and now Gloucestershire Police is looking to work with the trust to introduce it to vulnerable people and victims of crime in the county. The hope is it could have its own 24-hour dedicated unit working on the new scheme for these people. A police spokesman said: “Hollieguard is an exciting step forward in personal safety and as a consequence we are working with the Hollie Gazzard Trust and our crime prevention team to explore a number of options for using this application. “We see huge value whether you are a victim of domestic abuse or indeed simply want to take steps to ensure you are protected as you go about your life. “Empowerment and personal responsibility are all important and this application fits into the modern world.” The App is available on Apple, Android, and Windows.
For more information visit website holliegazzard.org
As featured on the gloucestercitizen.co.uk website