|A York Minister Police Officer holding Romad's RSP-100|
Established in 627AD, York Minster is the largest Gothic Cathedral in northern Europe. Many thousands of visitors make their way to the Minster every year either to attend one of the three daily services or to enjoy the extremely impressive architecture, as well as learn about its fascinating history.
One of the interesting things about York Minster is that it has its own Police Force - one of only two cathedrals in the world to do so. York Minster has in fact employed constables since 1285. There are currently nine police officers who share the responsibility of ensuring the safekeeping of the Minster's irreplaceable artefacts as well as keeping an eye out for any anti-social behaviour which might spoil the enjoyment of visitors."We are fortunate that the vast majority of people who visit the Minster are well behaved,"
said Head Police Officer, Steve Wilkinson. "There has been the odd occurrence of drunken behaviour but these have been dealt with without any fuss by our highly trained police officers."
Despite this lack of serious trouble, York Minster felt a moral as well as a legal obligation to look at what it should do to protect its police officers and particularly so at night when the Minster is closed and when a lone officer might be patrolling the building or surrounding areas. "It's a case of being a responsible employer,"
added Steve Wilkinson. "We wanted to provide our officers with a lone worker protection device. Our criteria were that it had to be small, unobtrusive and easily carried, but if necessary could be quickly triggered."
Steve Wilkinson's research led him to recommend to the Dean of York Minster that the Romad
RSP-100 best matched what was required. The Romad RSP-100's small size and light weight means it can be worn on a lanyard or clipped to a belt. Simple, over the air commands are used to configure the device, providing 4 pre-programmable speed dial numbers and a rugged SOS alert button. One of the pre-allocated speed dial numbers, for example, allows the police officers to leave a recorded message when they arrive at a remote part of the Minster. This message is safely stored on the Romad server and can be quickly retrieved if there is concern for the officers' welfare. "The feedback from our officers has been very positive,"
said Steve Wilkinson. "It has given them peace of mind that should they be attacked or get into trouble in some other way, help is at hand at the press of the button. They know that the RSP-100, which incorporates both GPS and GSM communication and tracking, is able to provide information as to their precise whereabouts."