A STUDENT who developed a rape alarm after her neighbour was violently attacked by a man hiding in nearby bins has won a prestigious award with a cash prize.
21-year-old Rebecca Pick of Strathclyde University won the undergraduate prize at the 2015 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards for her alarm – which is hidden discreetly on a bra strap.
In the event of an emergency the wearer can alert the police using a silent alarm on the device, known as a Personal Guardian, which can even record evidence to be used later in court.
Due to go on sale in October, the invention has already bagged her a prestigious trophy and a £5,000 cash sum at the awards.
Rebecca said: “I had the idea for the alarm after hearing of an incident near where I live, when a woman was attacked and no one came to help.”
“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.”
She said wearers of the device will 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, as new health and safety legislation makes line managers more responsible for such staff.
She added: “There’s a risk for people who go out alone for their work and their employers have duty of care to them; there’ll be someone at the other end to answer the call if they set off their alarm.”
Rebecca, who recently graduated, is currently promoting the alarm to women’s support groups and Police Scotland, having already secured a £60,000 investment.