A NEW app which aims to prevent a repeat of the security failures seen after the Manchester Arena bombing has been backed by a family who lost a relative in the tragedy. 

The Protect Duty Training Cards app delivers free counter-terrorism advice to security guards and staff working in stadiums, shopping centres and other public arenas. 

The potentially lifesaving training it provides is delivered via a series of innovative and interactive real-life quiz questions which test how a person would act should they find themselves at the centre of a major incident.

Those who download the app can answer up to 150 questions, all of which provide explanations and advice if the wrong answer is selected.

Questions which users are asked include the best steps they should take to deal with armed attackers; tips on managing crowd-control and proactive advice on what to do if they come across a suspected explosive device.

The app – which will not be collecting any data from its users – also allows companies to subscribe to a paid-for service which allows users to send out en-masse notification alerts. 

The app’s developer – YUDU Sentinel – are also launching a Visitor Alerting system for venues to send mass text alerts to visitors in the event of a terrorist attack. For those that need more, Sentinel also plans to allow its users the option to share action plans and communicate using secure chat channels and instant conference calls. 

The app will also be regularly updated to include fresh instructions and guidance on how to deal with trending threats. It is available now on the Apple App Store and the Android version will be released shortly. 

The roll-out of the app comes ahead of proposed new Government legislation which will make it a legal requirement for all publicly-accessible locations to have counter terror training for staff as well as counter terror plans and mitigation measures.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett died aged 29 at the Manchester Arena in May 2017, said the invention of the app is a vital next step in the journey towards learning lessons about what happened five years ago. 

She said: “This is a fantastic idea and I’ve already shared it with many people I know. It is so important that people working in the security industry have a greater understanding of how to react in a terror attack. This could help save lives.”

The Protect Duty app has been developed by Chris Phillips, the founder and Managing Director of the International Protect and Prepare Security Office (IPPSO). Chris is also a former head of the UK National Counter Terrorism Security Office who also spent 30 years in the Police Service. 

Commenting, Chris said: “The Manchester Arena Bombing was a wake-up call that exposed a weakness in risk assessment, staff training and response to terror attacks. Crowded spaces have always been a top target for terrorists. Protect Duty is a vital new tool in our fight against these criminals and will help make places safer and save lives.

“The app sets out ‘what to do if….’ in an easy format which can be used by anyone in a front-facing role. In creating this app we were mindful that memories fade fast, which is why it’s so important this app can be stored permanently on your mobile where users can go back to it and test themselves regularly to refresh their knowledge.”

Chris has teamed up with YUDU Sentinel, a critical event platform which provides independent communication and document sharing tools in a crisis situation. SURE

Richard Stephenson, the CEO of YUDU Sentinel, said: “It has been a pleasure to harness Chris Phillip’s expertise in developing this app. We have made it free and without data collection to ensure it can be easily adopted by all organisations. The concept is for continuous training by using the quiz with the onus on self-improvement. Our aim is to eliminate the communication failures that occur in so many incidents.”