FOLLOWING ON from successful trials involving the police and security staff in South Yorkshire, SmartTag – a protection solution devised by the SmartWater Group – is now being made available to Security Industry Authority (SIA)-licensed security officers working in the wider Yorkshire area.
The forensic scientists at the SmartWater Group created SmartTag following an increase in attacks on front line security workers during the COVID lockdowns. Each security officer will now be equipped with a uniquely formulated handheld spray for their own exclusive use. Those officers have to take part in an online training course and pass an examination before they receive their SmartTag spray.
SmartTag is another initiative of the Taming Aggression Group, which is headed by Sir Keith Povey QPM. Its purpose is to reduce the level of aggression in society. The Taming Aggression Group’s first initiative working with South Yorkshire Police, and focused on reducing episodes of domestic abuse, was highly successful with a significant reduction in attacks.
During the trial in South Yorkshire, the SmartTag-equipped security operatives reported an immediate calming effect on potential rowdy incidents before they could become violent. Effectively, if an offender is sprayed with SmartTag, they risk being refused entry to any premises equipped with SmartTag detectors and, when serious offences, being arrested by the police at a later date.
Diffusing violent incidents
Detective Superintendent Lee Berry, who launched a pilot last year with security officers when at South Yorkshire Police, explained to Security Matters: “Our aim was to create a deterrent that door staff can deploy to diffuse violent incidents before they escalate. Over 100 canisters were deployed across the county following a successful trial in Sheffield. We received great feedback from door staff who said they had diffused situations by warning those involved that they would be forensically marked.”
Gary Higgins, COO at SmartWater, responded: “SmartWater is a powerful deterrent as it provides the police with the evidence they need to prosecute. Hundreds of criminals are behind bars as a result. The trial in Yorkshire with the police and security staff involved went very well. We firmly believe that SmartTag will be a standard piece of equipment for all professional SIA-licensed security officers.”
SmartWater is the only product of its type that has been independently accredited as being compliant with the requirements of the Government’s Forensic Science Regulator.
SmartTag is being made available to SIA-licensed security officers via a dedicated website: www.smartwater.com/smarttag The annual licence fee is £85.00 (inclusive of VAT). Officers will be provided with a distinctive ‘Elite’ armband advising people that they have been trained and equipped to use the SmartTag solution. The plan is that SmartTag will be made available to other front line workers, such as firefighters and paramedics, in due course.
*Watch the video explainer produced by the SmartWater Group: https://youtu.be/zdSswQhzObo