ACPO move towards guideline change on lone worker alarms
Next guidelines will affect lone worker alarm responses.
Last month ACPO made its first moves towards what will eventually become a formal change in their guidelines to Police Forces’, regarding how they should respond to a situation escalated via a Lone Worker Device / Alarm. They are designed to ensure that all Lone Worker Alarms, and in turn any subsequent Police response, is appropriately categorised in order to resolve a situation efficiently and appropriately.
Current guidelines state that any BS8484 approved Lone Worker Solution enables the A.R.C. (Alarm Receiving Centre) Operator handling a ‘Red Alert’ to escalate to the Police via a U.R.N. (Unique Reference Number) in order to request a Level 1 response for the lone worker – put simply, an emergency only, priority level response, directly escalated to the relevant Police force (U.R.N.’s can only be issued to BS8484 compliant Alarm Receiving Centres that are also BS5979 Cat II compliant).
This level of response is naturally of great benefit to any lone worker requiring emergency assistance if they are in a situation involving violence, threatening behaviour that suggests imminent risk of assault, or if witnessing a serious criminal offence taking place.
However, after discussions with several Police forces’, it has been clarified that a lone worker alarm relating to a less serious incident (a non-emergency in Police terms) – Shoplifting, A Drive-Off, Public order offences etc., should not be escalated to the Police via the U.R.N. system. This will instead be escalated by the Alarm Receiving Centre (nothing changes for the lone worker in this respect) using either a 999 or 101 call, as appropriate. This is to ensure best use of Police resources.
False alarms raised through BS8484 approved Lone Worker Solutions have always been, and continue to be very low in comparison to other mechanisms that elicit a Police response. These changes should improve how appropriately Policed a ‘Red Alert’ is however. In short, these changes should promote a better working relationship between employers using BS8484 approved systems and the Police – ultimately ensuring a fit, proper and effective response when required.
Kenneth Meanwell of ACPO commented; “Making these changes and ensuring clarity on the changes has become important to both ACPO and the Police, as more and more lone worker solutions get deployed. We are pleased to see companies like Connexion2 taking the lead on communicating these important changes to existing and prospective customers”.
What does this mean for SoloProtect Customers?
As these changes are brought into effect, they will be communicated to each Police force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. As such any ‘Red Alert’ raised via a SoloProtect issued Identicom device or Identicom mobile application, is now subject to this policy.
SoloProtect alarm operators have been briefed accordingly, and will be ensuring they escalate in order to work effectively and appropriately alongside the Police. A lone worker is not required to do anything differently – the Alarm Receiving Centre will continue to implement the escalation on their behalf.
Any lone worker using SoloProtect should see no difference in their service being provided, and all employers implementing SoloProtect should rest assured that all ‘Red Alerts’ are handled with the utmost care to ensure the best possible outcome for any situation.
If you are a SoloProtect customer and have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss further.
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Article Published 1.12.2014