Family Housing is helping to reduce potential risk to its lone working, front-line staff by contracting with Connexion2 for its award winning and ACPO ‘Secured by Design’ accredited Identicom lone worker device (LWD). The Identicom LWD is providing the housing association’s Lone Workers with peace of mind knowing that should a conflict situation arise they have the means to discreetly raise the alarm, eliciting a Police response if required.
Family Housing Association is an independent social housing provider based in Birmingham. Since it was established in 1964 it has grown to become one of the major providers of affordable housing to rent and low cost home ownership in the West Midlands with nearly 2,500 homes.
The existing method for lone worker safety relied on using a dedicated button on a mobile phone to raise the alarm if the lone worker felt threatened. However, when it came to reviewing current lone worker practices, frontline staff stated that if faced with a potentially hazardous situation they would have to reach for their phone, which could be at the bottom of a bag, and in addition the phone could easily be knocked out of their hand.
Aware of the need to update its lone worker protection device, Family Housing’s Information Systems Manager, Baz Patel, decided to inspect products that would enable support staff to discreetly raise the alarm if faced with a potential conflict situation. Having already read about Identicom, Baz decided to investigate the SoloProtect package from Connexion2.
For an all-inclusive price, a SoloProtect solution encompasses the five core elements that are essential for a credible and complete lone worker solution. This includes the Identicom device, SIM Card and inclusive network usage, face-to-face user training, 24 hour manned monitoring and Connexion2’s dedicated customer support team at implementation stage and post sale.
“The safety of our staff is of paramount importance to us and we have therefore made Identicom part of our health and safety policy”, said Baz Patel. “We decided we needed a more robust system than we were previously using for our lone workers. With Identicom, personnel can use the ‘Red Alert’ at any time they feel vulnerable, knowing that if required they can quickly get support should they feel threatened”.
Now, when a user is entering a new or potentially hazardous situation, the user can activate the ‘Amber Alert’ function, this allows them to leave a quick 20-second voice message outlining whom and where they are, and what risks they are facing. This is accessed by the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) should there be a ‘Red Alert’ subsequently actioned on the device. During such an alert, dedicated staff at the Alarm Receiving Centre can discreetly listen in to what is happening and make an assessment as to the level of support required – involving the police if necessary. All audio captured through the device is recorded for future use as admissible evidence in court if required.
As manufacturers of Identicom, Connexion2 supply solutions direct to market through the SoloProtect brand while supplying indirectly through a number of authorised Partners. Identicom has also been awarded ‘Secured by Design’ status by the Association of Chief Police Officers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.