Cheshire Police’s GoodSAM technology helping to save lives and catch criminals
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Three months have passed since the official launch of GoodSAM – the game-changing software that is changing how Cheshire Constabulary’s Force Control Centre (FCC) handles emergency calls.
GoodSAM’s instant video capability allows FCC operators to send a link via a text message to 999/101 callers. Once a caller has allowed access to their phone via the link, they can live stream to the call operator.
Since the launch in March, 374 links have been sent using GoodSAM and a substantial number of overall calls have been related to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) incidents – a constabulary priority.
The funding for GoodSAM was secured as part of the Safety of Women at Night (SWAN) fund, which is part of VAWG, but it has proved to be highly effective in a wide range of incidents.
Here are some examples of where and how GoodSAM is making a difference:
A call was received from a non-English speaking female who couldn’t explain her circumstances or location. FCC staff used GoodSAM to locate the caller to a block of flats. With the use of GoodSAM text messaging, video screen and location functions (plus Google Translate) the FCC operators were able to identify her exact location and find her quickly. When officers arrived, it was established that the female was the victim of modern day slavery. It’s unlikely that she would have been located without the use of GoodSAM. She is now being safeguarded and investigations are underway.
Following a third party report by hotel security of a domestic incident between two guests, the informant claimed a large quantity of drugs had been found in their room. Photos of the drugs were uploaded via the GoodSAM attachment link confirming his report. The couple was subsequently arrested for possession of drugs with intent to supply.
Two males were fighting with a knife in the street, a female was also present. Local residents were understandably alarmed by the incident. GoodSAM was used to get a real time recording of the fight and the weapon.
Helen Brown, Communication Operator, was recognised for the way she dealt with a call from a man who was threatening to kill himself with a gun. She built enough rapport with the man to establish his exact location via GoodSAM. Helen managed to calm the man down and ask the right questions to get the information needed for an accurate risk assessment. Response officers were then able to safely detain him due to the location accuracy of GoodSAM mapping.
Four response officers were warmly praised by the family of a man who had threatened to buy a knife and kill himself. The officers, from Warrington Response E Block, worked together with the help of the Drone Support Unit and GoodSAM’s technology to locate the highly intoxicated man. He was found in a bush by a canal shortly after he was reported missing. He went on to receive the help he needed by the appropriate experts. Had his exact location not been known, multiple patrols could have been assigned to start the search for him. GoodSAM proved vital in the early locating of the man to get him promptly safeguarded.
A 999 caller reported that an aggressive man on a bus had assaulted a passenger. The GoodSAM location link was sent and accepted. The exact location of the bus was identified, patrols attended and arrested the man.
A carer reported to her manager that one of her clients had bought a gun online and pointed it at her the previous day, causing her to feel threatened. Photos of the gun were uploaded via the GoodSAM attachment link which allowed the Force Incident Manager to make an assessment of it prior to deployment.
A very distressed female, who was a passenger in a vehicle, called 999 because she had just been assaulted by her ex-partner while he was driving; because she lived outside of Cheshire, she didn’t know where they were on the motorway. When she opened the GoodSAM link it confirmed their location and officers were able to locate them and safeguard the female.
Superintendent Claire Jesson has been heavily involved in the implementation of GoodSAM in her role as SWAN lead. She said: “This is a fantastic piece of equipment that has certainly enhanced the service we provide to victims. It became apparent early on how much time can be saved by using GoodSAM. We have been able to quickly find victims who haven’t known their location as well as stop potential suicides by using GoodSAM’s GPS tracking. We’ve also captured offences occurring in real time and, in some cases, sent a link directly to the officers attending incidents to assess the situation prior to arrival.
“In just a few months of using GoodSAM in our daily operation, we’ve seen how it’s opened up a whole range of opportunities for its use.”