A STUDENT whose neighbour was violently attacked by a man hiding in rubbish bins has developed a unique personal alarm that clips on to a bra strap.
Rebecca Pick’s revolutionary device connects directly to the police and is able to record evidence that can be used in court.
The wearer squeezes the alarm to activate it, and can switch it to “silent” so attackers do not know it has been activated.
The 21-year-old from University of Strathclyde is promoting the alarm to women’s support groups and Police Scotland.
She is preparing to launch it later this year.
“There are other personal alarms, but none connects to the police,” said Rebecca who developed the product in between her marketing and enterprise studies at Strathclyde university.
She is expecting £60,000 this week from Gabriel Investments and is in talks with companies in Edinburgh and Dunfermline about manufacturing the plastic device, called Personal Guardian. The moulds will be made in China.
The idea came from an incident in her block of flats in Glasgow.
A neighbour who was putting out her rubbish, was attacked by a man who had concealed himself among the bins. Despite her screams no one came to her aid.
“We said we needed to do something and I had done an internship with a security company. I learned about how sensor monitoring stations work,” said Rebecca.
She said wearers of the device have a choice whether it emits a sound. Some women said they did not want to make any noise as they did not want to alert their attacker.
The alarm is paired to the wearer’s smartphone and as well as connecting to the police, it can send text messages to pre-recorded numbers stored in the user’s phone.
Rebecca’s target markets are female students and companies employing women who may work alone.
New health and safety legislation makes line managers more responsible for such staff, which is encouraging companies to offer greater safeguards.
Official figures from Rape Crisis UK show that 90% of rapes are committed by people already known to the victim and often happen in settings they previously considered to be safe.