RCT Homes

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Case Studies

RCT Homes Trust and Use Guardian24 to Protect their Lone Workers

RCT Homes ResizeThe Customer

RCT Homes, a Community Mutual Housing Organisation provides housing services to more than 20,000 people. The organisation is a registered social landlord to over 11,000 properties in a diverse and highly disadvantaged area of South Wales. From allocating housing and collecting rent to major home refurbishments, RCT Homes’ employees are regularly involved within the community.

The Challenge

Much of the work performed by RCT Homes involves employees working alone in tenants’ homes. Without immediate help at hand, Housing staff are exposed to a greater risk of assault, attack or sustaining injury whilst performing their duties.

According to a 2014 report by UNISON, violent assaults on Public Service staff saw continuously high figures, particularly in residential and home care settings. It was anticipated that reduced staffing levels and recent changes within the benefit system were the cause of rent arrears and possible evictions, having a direct and detrimental effect on the attitudes and behaviours towards housing staff.

Personal safety charity, Suzy Lamplugh Trust also revealed that more than 1 in 10 housing workers has been taken hostage at some point in their career. As a reputable and dependable organisation, RCT Homes felt it was necessary to source a reliable personal safety solution to mitigate risks to their lone workers.

The Solution

After consulting with Guardian24, RCT Homes decided to replace the previous personal safety devices they were using with Guardian24’s MicroGuard, the most advanced and compact GPS safety device on the market. RCT Homes have distributed over 250 units to staff within the organisation.

With the ever growing problem of attacks on housing officers, it was essential for RCT Homes that the safety device they were using had two-way audio capabilities, something their previous solution had lacked. The MicroGuard would enable users to raise an alarm simply by pressing the device’s central SOS button. This would connect them to Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) where two-way audio enables a trained Controller to either listen in to the situation, or speak if it is safe to do so. The MicroGuard also features a voice memo button, allowing its user to leave a pre-alert message with details of where they are going and who they are meeting. ARC Controllers can then listen to this information as soon as an alarm is raised.

The flexible design of the MicroGuard enables RCT Homes staff to wear the device discreetly in a number of ways – as pendant on a lanyard, attached to a belt holster or ID card or carried as a keyring. This is a crucial element of the device, allowing it to remain unseen by an aggressor in potentially dangerous situations.

Certified to the highest industry standards, including Secured by Design and BS 8484, Guardian24 are able to summon the highest level of Police response where necessary to assist the user.

The Benefits

The Guardian24 service proved a success when an incident occurred during one employee’s visit to a tenant’s home. The individual became verbally aggressive towards the member of staff who subsequently pressed the alert button. Controllers at the ARC were able to listen in to the situation and once it was safe to speak, confirmed the safety of the member of staff and contacted managers within RCT Homes.

“We were impressed by the device’s ability to listen in and have two-way communication. It’s necessary for us that all staff can speak with a responder should something like this happen again.”

Clare Overd - STEPS - Support Services Team Manager

Not only do the alarms provide piece of mind for staff at the organisation, RCT Homes can feel confident that they are helping towards their Duty of Care to employees.

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