“I would encourage Island hospitality business owners to sign up to this app, to provide that added precaution for their female workers"
StaySafe now help to protect local women at night, in partnership with Shaping Portsmouth
Following a recent successful funding bid to the Home Office, StaySafe is partnering with Shaping Portsmouth to help women feel safer when returning home from work at night. Working with Portsmouth City Council and the Isle of Wight Council, the project offers a free year-long licence to the StaySafe lone worker app to bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and late-night offices to help protect their female employees.
Recent research from Portsmouth Council shows 80 per cent of reported sexual offences in Portsmouth have a female victim. 18% (93) recorded offences against women and girls occurred in public places with most offences committed against women under 24 years old.
Secure monitoring and protection for women travelling at night
Up to 400 licenses have been made available to women working in the hospitality sector in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. The StaySafe app now allows users to start a timed session when they are travelling home alone. The app is connected to a secure cloud-based hub which is then monitored by a third-party security centre. If an incident occurs, users can press the panic button at any time or, if they fail to check-in safely when expected, the centre will be alerted, and help can be sent to their location immediately.
A user’s location is only visible when they start a timed session in the app. Users will be able to log when they leave work and then again when they reach home. The user’s location can be displayed and monitored on the secure cloud-based hub during their journey by Phoenix, a Milton Keynes based security control centre. This helps to ensure they get home safely.
If they feel unsafe along the way, the user can tap a panic button in the app. This will alert the call centre and a trained call handler will attempt to make contact. If they can’t get through, or the user reports that they are still in danger, the call centre will contact the police immediately and give them accurate coordinates. The same process is followed if the user fails to check in when expected at their destination.
The free app offer is in place for the hospitality sector until March 2023 and will be funded by the government. Shop workers are also hoped to be included in the trial.
Don Cameron, CEO at StaySafe says “We feel very strongly about making anyone who must travel alone, especially at night, feel safer and to give them peace of mind that help is there should they ever need it. We are very proud to be a part of this campaign and I urge everyone in the Portsmouth and Isle of Wight areas to get onboard with this great incentive.”
Sam McGrath, StaySafe Project Leader, said “Previously spending 22 years working in the hospitality and events industry, safety for all employees late at night is a priority. Having said that, it has not always been that easy to control, as the logistics can be too much to manage. I am thrilled to be introduced to the StaySafe Lone Worker App”.
Find out more about the StaySafe app here
Ian Stephens, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet lead for Community Protection, said: “I would encourage Island hospitality business owners to sign up to this app, to provide that added precaution for their female workers on their journey to and from work.
“Keeping our Island a safe community is a priority for us and this app provides peace of mind and security for lone workers travelling home at night.”
Stef Nienaltowski, CEO of Shaping Portsmouth, adds “This is really worth businesses getting involved in. Not only will it help women feel safer, it will send a message to any potential predators. If they think a woman has this as protection it could deter them from following her or doing something.”
If you would like to sign up your business to the StaySafe app offer, please email email@example.com.