Panic buttons linking the public directly to police unveiled in Sutton town centre in world’s first

New safety alert buttons are being installed in Sutton town centre giving people instant access to the police control room when they need help .

By Jon Ball
Monday, 4th April 2022, 8:55 pm

The technology, the first of its kind in the world, has been developed to increase the protection of women and girls and any member of the public who requires assistance.

State-of-the-art refuge cameras have been installed on white poles on Outram Street, Portland Square and the Old Market Place in Sutton town centre.

Each camera provides live CCTV, as well as a safety alert button ‘to assist in safeguarding vulnerable people and deterring opportunists from committing crime and anti-social behaviour’.

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Coun Helen Smith, Ashfield Council deputy leader, at the refuge camera on Portland Square.

Developed by Wireless CCTV, the refuge cameras can also issue recorded audio warnings.

Coun Samantha Deakin, Ashfield Council cabinet member for parks, town centres and neighbourhood services said: “It is fantastic that Ashfield will be the first place in the world to have this state-of-the-art equipment.

“These will have a significant impact on the safety of women and girls in Sutton.

“The new technology will ensure people can raise the alarm quicker and easier.

“There is no doubt that by investing in the fight against crime – our communities will be safer.”

Anyone feeling unsafe or vulnerable simply needs to press the button and they will be instantly connected to the police control room.

From there, operators can talk to the person and view CCTV camera footage to assess the situation.

Police officers or other support can then be dispatched as necessary, potentially preventing a serious crime.

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Blown away

Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner, said: “I was blown away seeing the cameras in action.

“We want to reassure all women and girls in Nottinghamshire we take their safety extremely seriously and will spare no effort in ensuring they can live their lives confidently and without fear.”

The scheme is part of the Ashfield Safer Streets initiative ‘to make women and girls feel safer, reduce their vulnerability, prevent and detect sexual violence and other crimes in public spaces’.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, said: “The council is determined to lead the fight against crime and ensure our communities are safer places to be.”

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