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Stay Safe

It is important for staff and students to enjoy their time at Northumbria University. This web page is the central hub to direct you to information on how you can best stay safe, both on and off campus.

While Newcastle is a very safe city to live, work and study, it is always advisable to follow some simple steps that will give you extra vigilance and more peace of mind. Many students and staff also travel extensively in relation to their work with the University.

As the first step to ensuring your safety, we recommend that all students and staff download the free SafeZone app to your mobile phones. This will make it easy for you to contact University Security or the emergency services if you need help. You should also follow the University’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter  to stay up-to-date with important information.


More information:

SafeZone

SafeZone is a free app for all Northumbria University students and staff*, that connects you directly to the University’s Security team when you need help at City and Coach Lane Campuses, as well as Bullocksteads. If you’re off campus, it will offer to connect you to 999 emergency services.

Northumbria University's Security team monitors SafeZone 24 hours a day.

You can download the app from SafeZone or from the Apple or Android app stores.

SafeZone makes it easier for you to contact Security and help them to respond if you need assistance. The app will send your name and location directly to the response team members. You can upload a photo and include other optional information such as your student or staff number, or details of a medical condition that could help responders when they are coming to your assistance.  Please note, if you have an Android phone, a current issue with Microsoft means you can’t ‘check in’ with SafeZone. However, please be assured that if you select the Emergency, First Aid or Campus Service Help Desk options, your exact location will be sent to University Security. We expect this technical issue will be resolved soon.

By installing the SafeZone app and registering as a user, you will also receive any urgent notifications from the University. After submitting your registration form, you will receive an email from CriticalArc.com with a link that you must click to complete your registration. If you do not receive this email within a minute or two, check your spam folder.

*Staff registering for SafeZone need to follow a couple of additional steps. Please see the FAQs below for info.

Northumbria Police

The Northumbria Police force area is a safe place to work and study; however you can help prevent yourself becoming a victim of crime by taking some simple advice.

Foreign Travel

We want to help you prepare for your journey and empower you to stay safe while you travel. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will provide information and advice from the UK Government to travellers on the precautionary measures they should take. You can also search for specific advice by country 

If you are a member of staff travelling on University business, our travel provider Key Travel will also provide support. Key Travel can be contacted in out of hours emergencies by calling +44 (0)207 843 9602. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a new phone - what do I do?

If you are an existing user, simply download and install SafeZone and tap the icon to start the app. Sign In with your previous e-mail address and password, then you’re all set. If you have forgotten your password, you can request an automated Password Reset from the Sign In screen. 

I have changed my phone number (or other information) – what do I do?

Apart from password reset, we do not yet have a self-service update for personal details. If you’ve changed your phone number (or want to change any other information), please send an e-mail from your registered university e-mail address to our support team, who will be happy to update your details for you. Be sure to let us know if your number changes, because it is very important that our responding officer can call you on your new number. Contact the support team at: support@criticalarc.com Note that your information is always held in strictest confidence as required by EU Privacy Laws.

I don’t want to make a fuss, but I have been threatened or I was assaulted: what can I do ?

Security are onsite 24 hours a day 7 days a week via a phone call and they can then talk to you and help you whatever the situation.

What if I raise a Call (or Alert) outside the campus SafeZone?

If you are outside of the University’s SafeZone boundary when you activate an Alert, your phone will tell you that you’re outside the zone and offer you a connection to “999” for emergency services.

What is the difference between a Call and an Alert?

A Call and an Alert are basically the same thing. When you activate one of the three SafeZone buttons (CS Help Desk, First Aid or Emergency), you are initiating a “Call” process, where either you call Security, Campus Services Help Desk or Security calls you.

You are also “Alerting” all active members of the Security team to your need, your location and your identity – so that they can respond to your requirement quickly and effectively.

What if I accidentally press a SafeZone Call button?

Safe1If you accidentally press any SafeZone Call button, you can cancel the Call by tapping the button again while the “Circle” timer is winding down.

After the Call (Alert) has been sent, you can still cancel your request, but you will still be contacted by Security to be sure that you are OK.

How will I know when my Alert has been received?

Safe2After pressing any of the three Call buttons, your phone will display the information shown on the left.

The three icons mean:

  • Obtaining location (checked when successful)
  • Sending your request (checked when successful)
  • Awaiting Acknowledgement from Security - the Text changes from “Alert Sent” to “Alert Acknowledged” once a Security Team member has seen your request and physically sent you their acknowledgement. The icon will be checked and the phone will also vibrate when this happens. This means they are about to call you (if you don’t call them) and they are now responding to your request.
At this point, you can call security directly by tapping the Green button, or Cancel the Alert by tapping the Red button.

If you cancel at this point, Security will still call you to check that you are OK.

What information does SafeZone store and how is my privacy protected?

As part of the App download process, you will be asked to agree to the SafeZone End User Licence Agreement. You will also be asked to provide your university e-mail address, your name, and a password. Additionally you may optionally provide other information and a face photo. Northumbria University encourages all users to upload a face photo as this helps the Security officer to identify you when responding to your Alert.

In order to activate your SafeZone account, you will need to respond to an activation mail sent to your Northumbria University e-mail address after you register your details.

All information provided by users of SafeZone is held in a high security data centre. All data transmissions are encrypted. CriticalArc’s handling of any personal data (including location) provided by users is in accordance with, and subject to the provisions of the relevant State and Federal Privacy Laws.

When will Safezone be tracking my location?

SafeZone does not track your phone’s location unless you specifically request it.

You request tracking by raising an Alert by pressing the Emergency button or Help or First Aid Call buttons. As part of your End User Licence, you agree for use of your location information by Northumbria’s Security personnel in order to expedite their response to your raised Alert. Your phone’s location will be tracked by SafeZone until such time as the Alert is cancelled wether by you or by the Security team.

If you are an authorised Lone Worker and start a Lone Work session, your location will be tracked and displayed on a map for the Security team for the duration of your Lone Work session.

You can un-check the Lone Worker icon at any time to cancel the tracking immediately, and SafeZone will automatically finish your session and stop tracking as you exit the campus.

Your location details during the course of an active Alert are logged by the CriticalArc server and may be used by Northumbria University in future as part of a record of the incident, or for system performance analysis, or for Northumbria University Security training purposes.

The SafeZone system incorporates safeguards to prevent unauthorised use of location data and unauthorised tracking of SafeZone users without their express permission.

On what phones can I use the SafeZone App?

Will SafeZone run on my iPad or Android Tablet?

If you have an Android phone or an iPhone, we advise you to install SafeZone on your phone.

If you do not have an iPhone or Android phone, then you can install SafeZone on your iOS or Android Tablet, however note that tablets generally only have a Data SIM and therefore they cannot make or receive Voice calls.

Since having Security call you is part of the standard SafeZone response procedure, you will not be able to utilise SafeZone’s full capabilities on a Tablet.

What are the recommended configuration settings for using SafeZone App?

Some of these will be configured for you as part of the installation process, which will ask your permission before changing any settings.

  • Location Services Enabled – you will be prompted for this when installing the App.
  • Wi-Fi enabled – having Wi-Fi enabled (without even being connected to a network) will significantly improve the accuracy of the location information sent by your device.
  • Wi-Fi connected to the University network – being connected to the campus Wi-Fi will help ensure that your alert will be sent, even if your mobile service provider does not have coverage where you are on campus.

I am a member of staff registering for SafeZone. What do I need to do?

Please note that after downloading the SafeZone app, staff must register for Northumbria University's SafeZone or Security will not receive your alerts.

To register, click on the app icon after installing and select "Sign Up". Follow the prompts: you'll need to enter your Northumbria University e-mail address, create a password and provide your name and mobile number.

How can I provide my feedback about SafeZone?

All feedback is welcome! Select the “Feedback” option in the SafeZone app Menu to make suggestions or provide feedback to CriticalArc. You can also have your say by e-mailing CriticalArc at feedback@criticalarc.com

Is there a SafeZone Facebook page?

Yes, visit SafeZone on Facebook.

What is the Coverage?

The Northumbria campus SafeZone coverage is shown in the three maps below:

caption: City Centre Region

caption: Coach Lane Region

caption: Bullocksteads Sports Ground

What if I can't afford to get home on a night out?

To further increase student safety, the Students’ Union (NSU) has an established Emergency Taxi Service in partnership with BUDGET taxis. With this service you can pay for a taxi with a fare of up to £8 by giving the driver your student card. You then collect your card later, and reimburse us with the fare. Therefore, NSU can now ensure all students can always get home safely. For more information click here


Contact Campus Security:

  • Emergency Number: 3200 (0191 227 3200) Please note, this number is for emergency use only
  • General Enquiries: 3999 (0191 227 3999)
  • Email: CRSecurityTeams@northumbria.ac.uk

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