One of the largest prisons in Scotland, HMP Perth houses around 700 inmates, including short-term adult male prisoners and remand prisoners. The prison has recently been subject to a modernisation project which will see a completely renewed prison by the end of this decade, with much better living conditions for prisoners, greater access to improved facilities and better working conditions for prison staff.
Upgrading safety and security At the start of the renovation project, SPS looked carefully into upgrading all security alarm systems within the prison, including an alarm system for prison staff.
Traditionally, systems used throughout the UK prison service have included fixed wall-mounted alarm buttons and PMRs (private mobile radios). A wireless system with alarm mobiles carried by every prison officer was therefore an obvious option. Not only would this provide added personal security for all officers, but by eliminating the wiring needed with the old wall-mounted alarm system, it could offer major cost savings during renovation and rebuilding. To decide on the system that would best suit the prison’s requirements, however, SPS looked at others’ experiences.
The PS-Pager system is a flexible wireless personal alarm solution. All prison officers have their own PS-Pager mobile through which they can transmit an alarm to the Central Control room. The status of all PS-Pagers is monitored and requests for assistance are automatically routed. And even if Central Control is unmanned, the system automatically forwards the alarm call to a response team.
The system also features an embedded RF-based location detection system, ensuring that the position of every officer can be tracked throughout the prison premises. Locations are sent automatically with every alarm call, enabling response teams to be directed quickly to the scene of an incident.
Designed for quick and accurate response to prevent an alarm situation escalating into an emergency, the PS-Pager is the main mobile device carried by the prison staff. Robust and water resistant, it features a manual alarm, a programmable second alarm, a reversible message display on top for hands-free reading plus a graphical front display for legible (alarm) messages and a vibrator for discreet alerting. Moreover, officers carrying the PS-Pager are protected by the system’s scanning function. The system continuously checks all PS-Pagers and informs users automatically in case of malfunction. In addition, the battery of the PS-Pager has more than sufficient operating time of up to 60 hours, and a flat battery is fully charged within three hours.
HMP Perth is undergoing a major renovation and modernization that includes the installation of a new wireless officer/personal-alarm system. Following a site demonstration, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) decided to use the Atus Personal Security Pager (PS-Pager) System.