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Skyguard – Proven in Helping Domestic Violence Victims

27 March 2014
 March 27, 2014

In an effort to combat Domestic Violence, Over half the UK’s Police forces issue Skyguard personal alarms to victims for increased protection.

In a report issued this week, the HMIC state that thousands of people are at risk of harm or even murder because of widespread failure in England and Wales to tackle domestic abuse.

HMIC said police received more than one million calls a year relating to domestic abuse and almost 58,000 victims – the vast majority of them women – were at risk of serious harm or murder. It said three women a fortnight were being killed by a partner or former partner and a third of all assaults recorded by the police related to domestic violence.

The report said only 8 out of 43 forces were responding well to domestic abuse.

So what can be done about it?

By issuing victims Skyguard’s mobile and discreet personal safety alarms, it increases the confidence and safety of the user knowing that they can call for help at the touch of a button, wherever and whenever. Previously, many Police forces used fixed alarms installed in homes. However, these provided no protection for victims when out and about, which severely limited their effectiveness. Installation was also a timely and costly exercise.

How Skyguard Works

Skyguard’s keyfob-sized MySOS personal safety alarms are equipped with the latest mobile-phone and GPS tracking technology. When the user raises the alarm, an alert is instantly sent to Skyguard’s dedicated Incident Management Centre (IMC), along with the GPS location of the device. Specially trained Controllers at the IMC pass the details directly to Police control rooms, using URNs to ensure rapid, accurate and unambiguous communication. The data relayed is sufficiently detailed to allow officers responding to the incident to call up background information and start making appropriate preparations before they arrive at the scene.

In addition, once the alarm has been triggered on the device, an audio connection to the IMC is established, and all audio is digitally recorded and can be used for legal evidence if required.

The MySOS – Europe’s Smallest Personal Alarm with GPS

The MySOS is Europe’s smallest personal alarm with GPS. At just 42 grams in weight, the units are discreet, simple to use and effective in operation – ideal for raising an alarm without alerting an aggressor.

The device has been awarded the Association of Chief Police Officer’s highly acclaimed ‘Secured by Design’ Police Preferred Specification and is complimented by the IMC in achieving ACPO’s highest accolade. Combined, Skyguard offer the only wholly-owned, end-to-end personal safety service with full Secured by Design accreditation. Skyguard’s service is also audited and approved to BS 8484:2011 and BS 5979 (Category II).

Benefits of Issuing Skyguard Personal Devices

In addition to the restoration of confidence and feeling of increased security that the alarms bring for victims of domestic abuse, there are also significant cost-savings for the authorities. By reducing response times, use of the devices often lead to rapid arrests which, in-turn, has a lasting effect on attackers and subsequently reduces the rate of repeat offending. What’s more, the audio recording functionality of the MySOS has directly led to numerous successful prosecutions and convictions. The alarms can also be easily and instantly transferred between users at no additional cost via Skyguard’s secure online Customer Service Centre administration portal.

From a wider viewpoint, the use of personal alarms also provides further reductions. For instance, most at-risk individuals can be protected in their own community, thereby eliminating the cost of moving them to safe houses. Equally, fewer incidents mean less spending by the NHS on accident and emergency response. By themselves, these wider benefits make a strong case for the deployment of personal safety devices.

These benefits are not lost on the majority; currently, over half the UK’s Police forces trust and use Skyguard’s service on a daily basis to protect the most vulnerable in their care. Their use extends beyond that of protecting domestic abuse victims, as those in witness protection programmes, honour-based crime and kidnap targets are also routinely issued the keyfob-sized alarms.

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