11:00am Friday 25th May 2012
By Scott D'Arcy
A NEW safety app for smartphones, motivated by the disappearance of Sian O’Callaghan, has the backing of England footballer Scott Parker.
SafeKnight, which will work on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Nokia, was created by businessman Chris Hawthorn after he saw reports about the 22-year-old, who vanished after leaving Suju nightclub in March 2011.
Sian’s disappearance sparked a major missing persons hunt, but her body was found at Uffington, Oxfordshire, on March 24.
SafeKnight works by allowing the user to take a photo, for example of a licence plate, which it will store on a secure database paired with a unique ID, time, date and the GPS location.
Its creator hopes it will act as a preventative measure, so people can stay safe in situations where they may be vulnerable.
He has pledged to donate a quarter of its profits to charity.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Parker, who is an ambassador for SafeKnight, said: “Being a parent, I could instantly appreciate the importance of SafeKnight in today’s society.
“I believe that we can help prevent serious crimes and I am honoured to be part of SafeKnight’s vision.”
Chris Hawthorn said he had been in contact with Sian’s mother, Elaine, and said she supported the app. He plans to meet the O’Callaghan family soon.
Chris, who has also founded a charitable arm, the SafeKnight Foundation, said: “I was deeply saddened by a young woman’s tragic and high profile disappearance last year, which happened in Swindon.
“It is situations such as these that moved me to create the SafeKnight Foundation and to develop the SafeKnight app as a preventative tool.
“With this app, it is my aim to enable people to lead a safe and independent lifestyle, with the knowledge that they have a pre-emptive safety measure at their fingertips for life’s routine vulnerable situations.
“The app can not only act as a deterrent to anyone considering criminal activity, should anything of a criminal nature occur, the information stored on the database acts as an incredible time saver for the police, who can gain immediate access to this highly specific data.
“SafeKnight can be used in a number of everyday situations, such as using taxi services, logging movements on a night out, travelling abroad, meeting new people through social media and even internet dating.”
The app can be downloaded via the Apple App Store, Google Play, BlackBerry App World, and Nokia’s Ovi Store from 69p.
The SafeKnight Organisation will distribute funds to charities supporting victims and working towards preventing serious crimes.
To find out more, see the website at safeknight.org, follow Twitter @SafeKnight or check the on the Facebook page at facebook.com/SafeKnight.
l Christopher Halliwell, 48, of Ashbury Avenue, Nythe, is due to appear at Preston Crown Court, charged with Sian’s murder, for a plea and case management hearing next Thursday.
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