Hollie Guard: Surge in demand for women's safety app after Sarah Everard's murder

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The father of a woman murdered by her ex-partner says the personal safety app created in her memory has been downloaded thousands of times since Sarah Everard’s murder.

‘Hollie Guard’ was created after the death of Hollie Gazzard six years ago.

Hollie was 20 years old when she was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend in the Gloucester hair salon where she worked. 

After the murder of Sarah Everard by Met Police Officer Wayne Couzens, the app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

33-year-old Sarah Everard was falsely arrested by then-police officer Wayne Couzens. Credit: PA

What does the Hollie Guard app do?

With a simple shake or a tap, the app by can be used to alert friends and family if you are in danger. It will notify your chosen contact where you are via its tracking device.

It can also send audio and video to your chosen contact - evidence which is being used by police for the first time to investigate crimes. 

Find out more about the app here.

"At the end of the day, we want her back - but we can't," said Hollie's father Nick Gazzard, who founded the Hollie Gazzard Trust and created the safety app.

He told ITV News West Country there were almost 80,000 downloads of the app in the two weeks after Sarah Everard was killed.

"Since the sentencing we’ve seen another 8,000 downloads," he said.

"That shows that people are really wanting something to help them stay safe."

But despite the technology available, Maggie Stuart from the Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre said the charity has seen a recent dramatic increase in referrals for rape and sexual assault.

"We have around 30 or 40 minimum new cases referred to us either as self-referrals or by the police each month - and waiting lists are increasing too.

"Having said that though, I must say, if anyone has anything to report to us in Gloucestershire certainly, come forward."