Embracing lone worker technology “has potential to save millions for public purse”

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) reports that an increase in organisations using accredited lone worker devices is reducing unnecessary call-outs to alarms by police forces, impacting significantly on costs to the taxpayer and enabling an effective response to potentially life-threatening situations. 

Using BS 8484 accredited systems, the lone worker industry is only passing between 0.1-0.2% of all lone worker-generated alarms to the police via lone worker unique reference numbers (URNs). The balance of false alarms are effectively being filtered out by Alarm Receiving Centres and thereby saving valuable police resources.

Using the Metropolitan Police Service as an example, the typical cost of responding to a false alarm is £150, but with the implementation of lone worker systems across a variety of organisations, such as the NHS, local councils, housing associations and SMEs, it’s estimated that, nationally, these systems have saved the taxpayer £60 million in the past 12 months alone.

Will Murray, chair of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section, explained: “At a time when security concerns, Health and Safety and police budget cuts are prevalent, the use of BS 8484 accredited systems is playing a significant role in reducing costs and ensuring greater safety to both the public and the lone worker community. The lone worker industry continues to work collaboratively with police forces to maintain and build upon this, for our mutual benefit and for those who use these systems on a daily basis. BS 8484 is a world-leading standard, developed in collaboration by the UK’s lone worker industry, the police service and relevant stakeholders, and is a shining example of Britain pioneering new technology on the global stage.”

Ken Meanwell, compliance manager for Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, added: “It’s encouraging to see how new technologies deployed by lone worker companies are playing a vital role in not only improving employee safety, but also dramatically reducing false calls. That enables valuable police resources to be correctly allocated.”

Employers and their employees using the BS 8484 certified systems also benefit from a rapid and effective response to potentially life-threatening situations, backed up by digital audio recordings which can be used as evidence in a Court of Law to prosecute aggressors. Perpetrators of verbal or physical abuse can also be brought to justice via the speed of police response and the evidence the lone worker devices capture.

Employers using BS 8484 accredited systems are also fulfilling their legal and moral Duty of Care to their staff, which protects them against damaging litigation and demonstrates their Corporate Social Responsibility.

Employees using BS 8484 accredited systems are receiving the best possible personal safety services, allowing them to focus on their job and improve morale.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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