Every so often the issue of personal safety is emphasised in the media. And it is unfortunate that it happens almost exclusively at the expense of someone else – the victim, and his or her family and friends.
It is a sad reality, but a reality nonetheless.
Reports of a young girls murdered in and around the Cape Town area are grabbing the attention of the entire country, and again highlight how vulnerable the ordinary law-abiding citizen can be, even in areas where safety can seemingly be taken for granted.
Sure, forensic investigations, fingerprint analysis, and polygraph testing play an important role in bringing the guilty to justice, but these are often employed once a crime has been committed (to be fair, polygraph testing can be used as a preventative measure, too, but most commonly in work or domestic settings).
A problem arises when we consider how crimes against the individual can or should be prevented. Conventional means such as the use of firearms or other weapons and self-defence tactics may be an option. But its effective use requires a mindset most ordinary individuals aren’t used to, which may lead to it being ineffective in a potentially violent situation.
The other problem is that firearms, stun guns, or even pepper spray may escalate the situation, resulting in one or more unnecessary deaths (how often aren’t there reports of bystanders injured in crossfire?). Related to this, of course, is the fact that many are afraid that potentially lethal self-defence methods may result in the conviction of the person who simply sought to defend him or herself.
Mobile phones can be effective in some scenarios (e.g. witnessing a robbery taking place), but are of little use when the owner is being attacked.
So what’s the solution?
Digging around on the internet, one item stood out: the panic button. It’s slightly bigger than a normal car remote but just as portable. The benefit of the panic button – and this is what we’d like to emphasise – is that it’s tracked 24/7. Its other great and rather obvious benefit, is that help can be summoned literally at the push of a button.
The downside, of course, is that it doesn’t have the power to deter crime in the conventional way. Of course, the mere thought of knowing police are inbound can prevent a crime being committed. Even if a perpetrator decides to see his original intentions through, help could arrive in time, and at the exact location.
How they work
These devices are equipped with GSM or GPS, which means they can easily alert authorities or other relevant parties to the particular location of an individual, or even of a personal belonging or asset (such as a handbag or a car). They come equipped with a panic button, and one-way or two-way communication with a 24/7 manned control centre.
Here’s an example of one, and a list of its features:
Please note that we are in no way affiliated with any of the companies listed, nor do we profit in any way from their products or services. The items listed below are purely for informational purposes.
ST-Delta Safety Tracker Phone
- SOS panic button
- 4 Please Call Me buttons
- Voice communication
- Full GPS tracking
- SMS warning alerts and notifications
- 400 hours standby with internal Lithium battery
- Text messaging capabilities
- Alarm clock
For more information about the ST-Delta, visit www.safetsolutions.co.za.
That said, we’d like to hear from you: can you recommend any personal safety tips, ideas, or devices? Post your ideas in the comment below.