A new app specifically designed to keep people safe in crowded places will be used at a major London location after an award of almost £250,000 from the Home Office. The app, which is called The Krowd, is the first project to be launched publicly under a scheme set up in response to the UK terror attacks of 2017.
The ‘Improving Crowd Resilience’ competition was launched in July 2017 and forms part of the Government’s efforts to do more with the private sector to encourage organisations to help tackle the security challenges facing the UK. It sought to fund innovative projects which would train the public to spot security threats and allow them to report those threats.
Created by Devon-based developers KrowdThink, the app allows people in crowded places to speak directly with on-site security teams, allowing visitors to report suspicious activity or potential threats in real-time using their phones. Images are then sent instantly from the crowd and can assist the security team to assess a threat.
In the first example of an ‘Improving Crowd Resilience’-funded project reaching the market, the Krowd App will now be used at the Broadgate Quarter in central London.
Security Minister Ben Wallace said: “We are bringing Government and industry together to develop tools designed to keep us all safe as we go about our day-to-day lives. I’m delighted that the ‘Improving Crowd Resilience’ initiative has already started to yield some ground-breaking technologies like this app, and I look forward to further such innovations. The Krowd app was one of several which shared £1 million funding as part of the Defence and Security Accelerator-facilitated ‘Improving Crowd Resilience’ programme announced in the weeks following the London Bridge terror attacks.”
The Defence and Security Accelerator is a cross-Government organisation, launched in December 2016, that finds and funds innovations to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively and also support UK prosperity.
Geoff Revill, KrowdThink’s managing director, added: “I’m delighted that The Krowd app is going to be rolled out commercially. Our dedication to producing a truly interactive and effective crowd safety tool has paid off. The funding and support from the Defence and Security Accelerator and the Home Office has given us expert insight, significantly accelerating our ability to move forward commercially. We’ve created a unique product that we’re confident will make crowded places and events fundamentally safer.”
Using the app’s venue mapping feature, security staff can locate the perceived threat and rapidly direct staff to the situation. The app can also allow security staff to message the people at a venue directly and guide them to safety.
The app will be available for the public to use in the coming weeks.