Home Editorial Halo enhances universities’ security and safety

Halo enhances universities’ security and safety

by Geny Caloisi

It is estimated that a third of UK students become victims of crime – mainly burglary or theft – with around 20% of those crimes occurring in the first six weeks of their time at university. Students with laptops, smart devices, and phones are all at risk from petty criminals who target campuses.    

Halo Solutions, the UK’s specialist in crowd safety and security platforms, will make its safety technology available to universities to help make them safer and protect female students from crime and protests. Recent protest activity at the University of Manchester, which saw protestors barricading themselves inside an exam room, has raised increasing concerns about the safety of female university students. 

Halo, which is currently providing its technology to Birmingham City University campuses, is in discussions with several universities across the UK following growing concerns about female safety on campuses, criminal activity and a spate of non-student protestor activity in protest over the war in Gaza.

CEO of Halo Solutions Lloyd Major, a former National Counter Terrorism Police Officer and crowd safety specialist, said: “Whilst legitimate protests are allowed to take place, and the cornerstone of any vibrant, thriving democracy, the recent protestor barricade over Gaza at the University Of Manchester, which was carried out by a large group of protestors (many of whom were not students), has highlighted how vulnerable UK universities are to such actions. Only last month, police in public order uniform (riot gear) stormed Columbia University in New York and arrested 100 protestors.”

The Halo technology provides a “whole university” approach to enhancing safety and security on campus by providing safe and secure environments for students, staff, and property across the entire estate. The Halo system, which is widely used to protect the public in stadiums, arenas, and travel and transport infrastructure, is also designed for use in university campuses and higher education faculties. 

Halo’s technology, which recently won a King’s Enterprise Award for Innovation, is also an essential crowd safety and security technology that addresses the upcoming “Martyn’s Law” (Protect Duty) requirements. This UK-wide legislation requires venues and those operating public spaces to consider the threat of terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures to protect the public.  

The system provides real-time monitoring of incidents for security teams and university staff across multiple campuses and provides reassurance for students and staff on campus on security and safety. The Halo system offers students “self-reporting” of incidents without the need to log onto the Halo system. By synchronising multiple feeds of information, from security checks and CCTV to body cams and other key communications it Improves decision-making. It enables faster response times to incidents, especially in critical events such as university lockdowns or emergencies.  

Halo is keen to point out that its safety and security technology is central to ensuring the safety of students, staff and property. 

Lloyd Major added, “Halo has public safety and security at its core so that when a dynamic and fast-moving incident occurs, it can be managed quickly and effectively with the safety of staff and students first and foremost. At its core, Halo is designed to protect property, buildings,  infrastructure, and facilities. 

“We designed Halo as a software technology that would be easy to use and able to integrate into existing systems to help protect everyone. Providing real-time information and merging multiple data sources and intelligence enables faster decision-making to help mitigate risks. Now more than ever, universities face a growing number of risks that threaten student and staff safety. Protestor activity, increased theft, violence and robbery, the safety of women  on campuses, extremism and terrorism are all very real threats.”  

The safety of women on university campuses, along with increasing crime rates, has also become a major concern for students and a major priority for universities across the UK. Violent or sexual crime in all city regions where university campuses are located has become one of the highest prevailing crime statistics, followed by robbery, burglary and theft from a person. 

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