Peoplesafe has won three-year contracts with Worcester Community Housing and Rooftop Housing Group to provide Identicom devices for lone workers’ safety at a reported cost of less than one pound a day per user.
Disguised as identity card holders, Peoplesafe’s Identicom devices allow workers to perform a ‘safe and well’ check and has a red alert button which opens an audio channel to Peoplesafe’s 24-hour monitoring centre if they are faced with verbal abuse or physical violence. The device has a GPS option allowing the user’s location to be instantly pinpointed and can also include a ‘man down’ motion sensor which triggers an alarm if the Identicom is immobilised or subject to an impact. Peoplesafe’s software can integrated into PDAs, BlackBerrys and smartphones including the Sonim XP3 Sentinel – the world’s most rugged mobile phone.
WCH’s community wardens, tradesmen, income recovery staff and allocations managers have all been issued with Identicom devices while pool units are available for office-based staff making occasional unaccompanied visits.
Nina Chinery, head of supported housing, Worcester Community Housing, said, “Our previous system involved using a mobile phone where staff entered a PIN number and a time-limited period. This was not actively monitored and an alert would only be raised if the employee failed to ‘log off’.
“The Peoplesafe units are a discreet arrangement which give our staff confidence that they can call for help if they need it, at any time of the day or night. Staff feel much safer knowing they can immediately access help if they encounter a problem.”
Bob Callaghan, facilities, health and safety manager, Rooftop Housing Group, said, “Increasingly we find that members of our staff are operating away from their desk and at irregular times. Identicoms give them the confidence to enter unsupervised areas and deal with potentially difficult situations. Our experience is that our residents and other members of the public also respond positively to the units. Seeing our staff wearing them actually provides them with a feeling of security as well.”