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3 May 2010, 08:18
Extra emergency support is being given to victims of domestic abuse and honour based violence - in the shape of a personal tracker, called a 'Buddi'.
The lightweight device is the world's smallest GPS personal tracker and works like a Sat Nav and can track a person's location every 15 seconds to the nearest metre.
Hertfordshire Police will be giving a Buddi to people it considers to be 'highly vulnerable' and will allow them to contact the police whenever they're away from their homes, by pushing a button.
Detective Inspector John Chapman from Hertfordshire Constabulary told Heart...
"The person, if they can't speak, may still be able to get to this device, make an alert, come through to our control room. It will be treated in the same way we treat all 999 calls and we could respond. That particular device is linked to a person, to their profile… so we can therefore, trace the person."
Officers can also send a vibrating signal to the device to alert the wearer if the GPS connection is lost. It also has an in-built microphone which can store valuable data.
If the Buddi ends up outside of the victims' normal movements it will trigger an automatic alarm for officers to respond immediately to locate the victim and make sure they're safe.
Detective Inspector John Chapman, leads on domestic abuse...
"…so in cases of honour based violence, where we have seen incidents where people have been kidnapped or abducted, we could use this device for that purpose… so we could then make an enquiry with the victim to say are you okay?"
Hertfordshire Constabulary say perpetrators involved in this type of crime need to know that all possible measures will be taken to protect victims and pursue them, where they act outside the law.
One in four women and one in six men will be a victim of domestic violence in their life time. One woman dies every three days as a result of domestic violence. Since 1999 there have been 13 domestic murders and 22 attempted murders in Hertfordshire.
Hertfordshire's domestic violence helpline, 08 088 088 088, is available from 10am-8pm. It's a free and confidential information service run by trained volunteers.