The University of Manchester, the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University, working with CriticalArc, have created the Manchester SafeZone Alliance, enabling the three security control rooms to extend the footprint of 24/7 support beyond their campus boundaries.

The partnership builds on the universities’ reputations as safe and welcoming cities for students. 

The three universities have each deployed SafeZone, CriticalArc’s unified safety, security and emergency management solution. With the formation of the Manchester SafeZone Alliance, security staff from each campus will provide reciprocal support to each other’s staffs and students.

In the event of an emergency — including an accident, crime, or medical incident — help is available to SafeZone users at the press of a button. Using the SafeZone app on their phone, students and staff are directly connected to the appropriate safety and security team or first responder.

For example, if a University of Manchester student is walking home alone late at night through the Manchester Metropolitan University campus, the student can access dedicated university first responder teams at the tap of a button via SafeZone, confirming who needs assistance, their precise location, and the type of incident. The nearest first responders will be notified and dispatched to the scene to provide an efficient response. Only when an individual calls for help is the identity and location of that person shared with the university’s security team.

“Student and staff well-being is always the top priority for all three universities, and we are pleased to put in place a technology solution that furthers this shared aim,” said Dr. Sam Grogan, pro-vice chancellor for student experience at University of Salford on behalf of the universities with the Manchester SafeZone Alliance group. “Manchester and Salford have a long-standing reputation for being inclusive and welcoming destinations for students from around the world. This pioneering cross-city initiative serves to enhance the safety and well-being of our university community.”

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, managing director of CriticalArc, said the introduction of the first SafeZone Alliance furthered CriticalArc’s strategic objective to help customers extend safety and security across their wider communities to enhance the protection of millions of SafeZone users. “We are delighted to be working with the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford on this ground-breaking project to give added reassurance for thousands of students and staff,” Chalmers-Stevens added. “The SafeZone Alliance sets these Greater Manchester universities apart and demonstrates their commitment to the wellbeing of students and staff, beyond traditional campus boundaries. We believe this alliance will prove to be a catalyst for game-changing cooperation between universities around the world.”