Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Across the country, those working for local authorities can become a target for abuse, particularly those in public-facing roles. Southend-On-Sea Borough Council are just one of a growing number of councils that choose Peoplesafe’s personal alarms to provide vital backup for their staff on the frontline.

Located on the northern estuary of the Thames, Southend-On-Sea has a total of around 179,800 residents, making it the 7th most densely populated area in the UK outside of London. The local council employs around 1,800 workers in a range of roles to administer public services throughout the borough.

It’s required by law to assess the risk posed to employees whilst carrying out their job. One of the key positions of risk identified by the council is environmental health, which encompasses a number of roles including park wardens, playground inspectors, sports and cleaning staff.

Park wardens in particular can find themselves dealing with all manner of antisocial behaviour, often whilst working alone. Wardens are particularly vulnerable when locking up after dark and can become a target for groups of youths loitering in public spaces. With violent crimes on the rise in England and Wales, the provision of reliable safety measures for lone workers is crucial.

For this reason, Southend have issued BS 8484:2016 accredited MySOS personal alarms to staff. The device acts as a SOS button that employees can call upon in situations where they are threatened or feel uncomfortable.

“The service provided by Peoplesafe is the best on the market. It’s easy, simple and does what it says on the tin. We would recommend Peoplesafe as it works alongside our risk assessments and takes care of our lone working safety concerns.”

Kevin Watkins, Area & Parks Manager

One of biggest benefits of a setup like this is, as Kevin states: “staff can press a button and someone will be on the other end.”

In these situations, just hearing a friendly reassuring voice and knowing someone is there can make all the difference. By simply pressing the SOS button, employees are put through to Peoplesafe Incident Managers who automatically know who they are, where they are and can assist, sending the emergency services on their behalf if necessary.

Alarms can also be linked up with a ‘speed dial’ feature to call a nominated member of staff, such as a supervisor or duty manager. The service can be easily managed via an online portal which allows managers to add emergency escalation contacts, assign units, share devices between staff and view reports.

Peoplesafe are currently working with over 130 UK councils, offering tailored safety solutions to support a wide range of individuals and protect in times of need.