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Six top safety apps for nights out: recommendations from Phoenix Staffing’s Sarah Moxom

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London – A shocking 66% of women reported that they feel unsafe when walking alone at night, with 41% having experienced unwanted attention or sexual harassment, according to a YouGov survey.

Nights out with friends are supposed to be a fun, social and enjoyable experience, but they’re not always as safe as they should be – particularly for women and vulnerable people. Whether it’s walking home alone at night and holding your keys between your fingers, struggling to get a taxi and ending up stranded outside a club or losing your friends in a sea of strangers at a festival, we’ve likely all been there.

57% of women reported that they feel safer when someone else knows their location or schedule, but what are the best ways to do this?

Sarah Moxom runs staffing agency Phoenix Staffing, which provides temporary staff for businesses in the nightlife industry. A lot of her staff are young women who often work late hours at nightclubs and bars.

Sarah works with several organisations to fight injustice and ensure that women are made safe in all situations.

The safety of her staff is Sarah’s top priority, and she has spent many years ensuring her staff are able to go to and from work in the safest way possible.

Here are Sarah’s top picks of apps that help people to get home safe from a night out:

  1. WYA – Where You At

WYA uses Bluetooth beacons to map out areas of the club to let you find your friends in real time in the club regardless of whether or not you have GPS signal. By combining the mesh network created using the Bluetooth beacons with floor plans provided by venues, it creates highly accurate maps of different event venues.

Great for:

    Navigating venues that you have never been to before

    Building confidence in new places

    Being able to locate your friends in a venue, especially if you don’t know your way around

    Being able to use a locator when you don’t have GPS signal

  1. HollieGuard

HollieGuard updates your precise location every 5 seconds based on your speed and movement activity to identify where you are once an alert has been raised. HollieGuard is a personal alarm, deterrent, evidence catcher and more.

It supports the Hollie Gazzard Trust, a charity set up by the parents of Hollie Gazzard, who was killed by her ex-partner. The charity works to reduce violence against girls and women through delivering programmes around domestic abuse and healthy relationships to schools and colleges.

Pros:

    Supports the Hollie Gazzard Trust, funding work to end violence against women and girls

    Offers stealth and discreet modes to raise an alert while you can’t be seen to be using your phone

    Captures evidence using camera and microphone once an alert has been raised

    Sends alert details and evidence to emergency contacts

    Allows users to set a meeting timer when entering a potentially dangerous situation, sending an alert when the user has not marked themselves safe within the allocated time

  1. WalkSafe+

WalkSafe+ uses your precise location to track your movements, allowing trusted friends to track you. Features include a journey planner, where you can save your frequent locations and plan journeys for easy access, street crime reports, where you can visualise serious street crime reports as icons on the WalkSafe map using police crime data and more. You are also able to share journeys with loved ones, and alert them if you are in an unsafe situation by using the SOS button, even if they are not viewing your location.

Pros:

    Allows users to alert friends and family of unsafe situations, sending them your precise location even if they are not currently viewing your location

    Allows users to see areas where crimes such as knife crime, mugging and sexual assault has taken place so you can choose whether to avoid those areas

    Allows users to set a home location so friends and family can be notified if you don’t don’t complete your journey

    It’s free to use

    Companies can sign up to offer a version of the app to employees

  1. Help Me Angela

Help Me Angela uses precise location, along with several tools to ensure that the user is safe and provide immediate help if a user is in danger. It is the UK’s first personal safety app with live specialists who can provide immediate assistance 24/7. The specialists can track your journey, message you on the live chat, call you and send emergency assistance should you need it. 

Pros:

    Features an incident recovery programme to help people who have been involved in a dangerous situation

    Features a Help Me button which allows a personal safety specialist to virtually follow you in real-time

    Features Get Me Out of Here assistance to help you to get out of a dangerous or unnerving situation

    Allows users to contribute safety alerts on the map to improve safety for others

    Supports the Andrew Copeland Foundation – a charity named after the app’s founder which funds and delivers projects to help improve the safety of people whose personal safety is at risk

  1. Bsafe

bSafe is an app that allows users to share their live location with trusted people worldwide. It includes many features such as a voice-activated SOS alarm that allows the user to trigger an alarm without touching their phone at all.

Pros:

    Includes a fake phone call feature to get you out of unpleasant or threatening situations

    Allows users to set a timer for how long they want bSafe to follow them, in case of an emergency

    Live streams video and microphone footage to guardians in real time when alarm is activated

    Allows you to trigger alarm without touching your phone if you are in a situation where you are unable to use your phone

  1. One Scream

Similar to bSafe, One Scream uses voice activations to raise alarms in dangerous situations. It is designed to recognise a female scream or the user’s keyword to trigger an alarm, which then makes a loud siren and vibration and sends your location along with a text message and an automated call to your nominated contact.

Pros:

    The user has 20 seconds to disable the alarm is they are safe and it was a mistake

    Only detects a very specific panic scream and is not disabled by laughter or other loud noises

    Does not record conversations

    Lower cost at £2.99/month

Sarah Moxom runs nightlife staffing company, Phoenix Staffing and ensures that the safety of her staff when going to and from and working within nightlife venues is her ultimate priority.

While she recognises the importance of fighting the issue at the root, Sarah encourages all of her staff, who often work as drinks contractors or bar staff, to utilise one of the apps to ensure they are safe and feel confident going to and from work.

She said: ‘Women and vulnerable people shouldn’t be in the position where they have to resort to apps to just go to and from a nightclub or a bar without feeling at danger, whether they’re enjoying a night out with their friends or working. We should be, and are, dealing with the root cause of the issue but sadly there is no quick fix and having safety measures in place is not only sensible, but essential. Apps like these are a good way of having an extra level of security.

‘We partner with some amazing organisations, such as the NTIA and Good Night Out, who put so much into making sure the nightlife industry is as safe as it can be. It’s important that we keep working until everyone can get home safely every single night, without fear of whatever could happen.’

‘If you don’t use one of the apps you should at least keep your location on and share it with your friends and family so they can keep an eye on you.’

Sarah works with people of all ages, particularly students at university, offering flexible work opportunities for those who prefer or need to work outside of the usual working hours.

For iPhone users:

Find My Friends is a free way to track your loved ones’ locations without downloading an app. Although you cannot send alerts, it allows you to follow their live location and can be easily toggled on with their live location being tracked at all times. It is a great first step to ensure is being used before downloading any apps.

If you’ve experienced sexual harassment, assault or rape, you can seek additional support, guidance, and information by visiting the rape crisis website. Further resources are also accessible through the NHS, where you can locate nearby services for rape and sexual assault support.

You can also find out more about ways in which organisations are keeping more people safe, particularly within the nightlife industry, through Sarah’s podcast, Fireside Whispers, which can be found on Apple, Spotify and other streaming platforms.

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Notes to editors

Notes to editor Details on each app taken from the App Store and app websites. For more information go to: https://www.wya.world/ https://hollieguard.com/ https://walksafe.io/ https://helpmeangela.com/ https://www.getbsafe.com/ https://www.onescream.com/ Study by YouGov February 2022: https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/utjogn9tax/BBC_WomensSafety_220211_W(1).pdf About Sarah Moxom She began her professional entrepreneurial journey fourteen years ago, establishing Phoenix Staffing (a flexible-working staffing agency servicing the hospitality, nightlife and events industry). Sarah is co-founder of Nova Shots, Code Earth and Eco Learning Hub, businesses servicing the sustainability and hospitality industry. She leads the movement Fireside Whispers, a platform to educate, inspire and connect women who are driven, mission-led and passionate about creating environments of prosperity and abundance for themselves and others to flourish. Fireside Whispers includes a podcast showcasing the wisdom and lives of world-impacting women. You can listen to Fireside Whispers at https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/fireside-whispers/id1682769858 or https://open.spotify.com/show/6alcUX6tI3HSgO2W5Y7Jwn Sarah coaches, consults and sits on the advisory boards of organisations across multiple industries. She has a long-standing partnership with A21, an organisation that exist to end slavery, globally forever. For more information on Sarah Moxom go to https://sarahmoxom.co.uk/ About Phoenix Staffing Phoenix Staffing is a temporary staffing agency based in London. It was established as Pout Promotions in February 2010 before rebranding into Phoenix Staffing in December 2017. It was set up by founder and CEO Sarah Moxom while studying at university and working in the nightlife and temporary staffing industry. It now employs around 25 permanent staff and more temporary staff on a contract basis. The company offers services such as drinks upselling, hospitality and event staff, bar staff and mixologists, digital services, brand ambassadors, festival staff and more. For more information go to https://phoenixgroup.global/staffing/

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