CUTTING edge crime fighting devices were on show courtesy of some modern day Inspector Gadgets who have made it their mission to help homeowners defend themselves and their property against criminals.
Graham Houghton of West Side Neighbourhood Watch organised a team of experts from the world of home security to demonstrate the newest home defence gadgets at St John's Youth and Community Centre in Swanpool Walk, Worcester, on Friday. He said: "We have got to be more security conscious in this day and age. It isn't going to cost you a fortune. Prevention is the best thing."
One of the devices on show was a forensic door alarm ("Chain Reaction") courtesy of inventor Rob Simpson, a key chain which sprays home invaders with UV marking fluid and emits a piercing alarm. The fluid has a unique coded signature so it can be tracked to a specific house/crime with the information stored on a national database. Mr Simpson came up with the idea of the forensic burglary deterrent while watching an episode of The Bill and he wants homeowners and businesses to use the device. He said: "This is the cutting edge of crime prevention, assisting the police in their inquiries. They go through the door and "boom!" Hundreds are now being installed, from Land's End to John O'Groats. As homeowners it is up to us to make sure we don't become victims of crime. It is about being proactive." He said the drop-in session was a chance to promote the use of the device to West Mercia Police. Mr Simpson was also demonstrating the offender marker, a hand-held device used by door supervisor to UV spray troublemakers.
Another demonstrator was former police officer turned independent security adviser Michael Keyte of Detect Deter Defend Limited who was promoting the "soft alarm" developed by Per Dahl in Sweden. The downloadable app for mobile phones is a "personal safe device" which can be set of manually if someone becomes the victim of a crime. Mr Keyte believes it could be used by the public or by the victims of domestic violence or in witness protection, with talks now underway with various police forces.
The app shows were someone is on a map, using the GPS, and even has a "man down" function so the alarm activates if the phone has not moved for a certain period of time. He also showed 'property marking skins' which cover UV signatures on possessions like laptops or bikes, so criminals cannot remove the signature. The idea is that it will help police to identify more easily stolen goods and return them to their owners. PC Julie Merry of the Safer Neighbourhood Team for the West Side was also present, as was Christopher Burton, senior health trainer for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, on hand to check people's blood pressure and BMI and give them other healthy lifestyle advice and Chris Stockman, director of Fire Fighting First Aiders. Representatives of Healthwatch Worcestershire and the Citizen's Advice Bureau were on hand to give advice.