Robert’s panic app finds a school market

Robert Winstanley at The Deanery High School with year nine pupils Elizabeth Naylor, Helena Norris and Skye Ashcroft
Robert Winstanley at The Deanery High School with year nine pupils Elizabeth Naylor, Helena Norris and Skye Ashcroft

A WIGAN man hopes to keep teenagers safe with the help of a panic button on their phone.

Just months after Robert Winstanley launched his personal panic app, the 23-year-old is now linking up with schools and even businesses to ensure people are kept out of danger.

Robert, of Springfield, came up with the idea as he has brittle bone disease and felt vulnerable due to his own personal disabilities.

So far, he has worked with his former school, The Deanery, as well as Kay’s Dairy, in Pemberton; Ainscough Vanguard and True Colours CIC, in Leigh.

Robert, who is also a support worker at Wigan Youth Zone, said: “There had been news of attempted abductions in the area, and as much as we try to make the world a safer place, it is not and we need to inform students to help them be as safe as possible.

“If something untoward happens to an individual, it can change the rest of their life.

“I want to raise awareness of the app and to get people thinking about their own personal safety and showing how I can possibly help with that.

“I used to attend The Deanery High School and got in touch to speak to pupils. The school paid for the teenagers to download the app.

“I hope to reach out to other schools too, as youngsters test the boundaries and get themselves into tricky situations.

“And it is not just youngsters - it can help anyone in any problem, such as changing a tyre or if an elderly person has had a fall.

“Malcolm Kay, who owns Kay’s Dairies, said he saw great potential and got the app for his staff who are out on early morning deliveries, who could find themselves in danger.”

The app is called ICE Assist and when activated, it sounds a loud siren, emits an SOS flash, location tracking and SMS messaging together in the person’s pocket or bag.

It can be downloaded to any IOS or android mobile phone.

Just by pressing the panic button it will alert loved ones to the exact whereabouts using Google maps within seconds.

The application works on android devices purchased within the last three years and all iPhones that Apple still support.

Stephen Cox, 46, of no fixed address, was charged with trying to snatch an eight-year-old girl from Holmes House Avenue, Winstanley on September 1.

He was remanded in custody until a preliminary hearing at Liverpool Crown Court on December 12 and a trial is set for February 23.

Back in July, a man approached school girls after pulling over in a white van on Shevington Lane, and a man was seen making inappropriate comments in Norley adventure playground on Lamberhead Road.