Reassurance outside of the home for vulnerable victims

Victims of domestic abuse and honour-based violence in Hertfordshire are to be given a tiny GPS tracker alarm.

May 27, 2010
By Paul Jacques
Picture: An Garda Síochána

Victims of domestic abuse and honour-based violence in Hertfordshire are to be given a tiny GPS tracker alarm.

Currently, these highly-vulnerable people have little reassurance once they leave their home. ‘Buddi’, which is the world’s smallest GPS personal tracker, offers emergency support and alert buttons. When worn on the body or in the bag of a victim it will:

•Track their location every 15 seconds to the nearest metre;
•Automatically activate an alarm if the wearer moves outside of a specified area; and
•Enable the wearer to activate an alarm or for an alarm to be automatically activated if dropped from a height.

Hertfordshire Constabulary officers will also be able to alert the wearer by sending a signal to the device causing it to vibrate if connection is lost, plus an inbuilt microphone will store data which could prove valuable at a later date.

“Victims of domestic abuse and honour-based violence can be highly vulnerable when outside the home and it was important for the constabulary to be able to provide additional reassurance to those most at risk,” explained Superintendent Jon Chapman of the community protection section.
“Systems are in place to ensure that as soon as an alarm is activated, for any reason, officers will respond immediately to locate the user and ensure their safety. Any perpetrators involved in this type of crime need to know that Hertfordshire Constabulary will take all measures possible to protect their victims and pursue them where they act outside the law.

“Buddi is a device that adds to the measures we can deploy to achieve this.”
Buddi is a very simple personal safety device, requiring only one press of a button in an emergency situation.

It benefits from the recent miniaturisation of GPS (global positioning system) technology, which is far more accurate than GSM (global system for mobile communications) and is not only much smaller (54mm x 52mm x 19mm) and lighter (less than 60g) than any other device currently available, but can accurately locate someone within a few metres. You can also continue tracking even when there is no GPS signal.

One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute and according to figures from Women’s Aid, the national domestic violence charity, one in four women and one in six men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime, and one woman dies every three days as a result of domestic violence.

Since 1999, there have been 13 domestic murders and 22 attempted domestic murders in Hertfordshire.

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