It`s near midnight in a secluded urban street somewhere in the Midlands when a group of youths surround a man, beat him to the ground and then carry on kicking. What they didn’t know was that their victim had set off his SkyMinder personal attack alarm and that the police would arrive to pick them up in just six minutes.
The story is true and took place in October, 2007 Only the location and names cannot be identified as the matter is currently sub judice because charges may be preferred.
What can be revealed is that the victim was a witness in a murder trial who, to protect him against potential intimidation, had been lent a SkyMinder unit by his local police force. To support the palm-sized device, his details had also been stored confidentially in the computer system at Skyguard’s Emergency Response Centre so that he could be identified if necessary and the preset procedure followed. The attack itself appeared to have no connection to the case.
In those vital six minutes, the activated SkyMinder sent an alarm to the Skyguard Emergency Response Centre whose Controllers immediately contacted the Police Area Control Room and passed details on to them including the identity of the person activating the alarm, the exact location and incident information they could hear on the audio link from the device.
Police patrols went straight to the scene, thanks to the location reference given by Skyguard which was accurate to within five meters. Consequently the victim suffered only minor head injuries: there is every likelihood that he would have received severe injuries had it not been for such a swift response from all involved.
A police spokesman said, “This is a great piece of kit -- ideal for domestic violence cases and witness intimidation. Undoubtedly, there are other areas in which it could be effectively used. I have seen at first hand on two occasions now how the seamless exchange of information following an activation results in an extremely quick response. I am in the process of raising funds to purchase a number of the devices as I have no doubt this is the way forward with regard to personal protection.”
Skyguard’s Chairman, Lord Dear, and ex-Chief Constable of the West Midlands force himself, said, “This is a graphic example of several incidents to date of the way in which this technology can help both police and public at a time of increased violence.”
Skyguard’s technology, proprietary software, systems and processes are managed by Legion Group Plc’s trained Controllers at the 24/7 Emergency Response Centre.
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