Bristol City Council


The Company
Enforcing traffic laws in one of England’s largest cities is a tough task for Bristol City Council (BCC). Covering 110 square miles (285 sq. km) and a resident City population of almost half a million, the Council must ensure the safety and performance of its Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) who face daily confrontations with members of the public while issuing parking fines.

The Challenge
As with most lone workers, communication is mission critical for Bristol City Council’s 84 CEOs, many of them female, who work alone in stressful and unpredictable situations. Risk of verbal abuse is high and the threat of physical assault a daily fear. Traditional mobile phones fitted with panic buttons proved inadequate for maintaining reliable contact in this tough outdoor, all weather duty. In addition, they were unable to provide the quality recordings required for use in prosecutions.

Paul Watts, shift manager, BCC, explains, “Ordinary phones just weren’t up to the job. They kept breaking, required regular repair and had short life spans.

Battery life was insufficient to last long shifts and they often cut out. During wet weather, staff had to put them in their pockets, which made them difficult to access and use properly.”

“Ordinary Phones Just Weren’t Up To The Job.”

“In addition, around 75% of recordings taken from the phones were unclear or broken, making them inadmissible in court. What our CEOs really needed was a reliable, rugged, high quality safety phone designed specifically for lone workers.”

The Solution
After extensive market evaluation, BCC selected Sonim XP3 Sentinel phones featuring built-in software for lone worker protection and a man down sensor that registers and alerts support teams if there is period of non-activity/movement. Each phone also has a dedicated ‘Red Alert’ panic button, for immediate, one-press access to the control team, and instant activation of tracking and recording. It also has an ‘Amber alert’ button that CEOs can activate when they are about to go into a situation that requires monitoring.

Waterproof and designed for use in extreme temperatures, the ultra-rugged devices are connected via Vodafone’s code5® service to SitexOrbis, a company that specializes in 24/7 lone worker monitoring and protection. Already in use by BCC and many other local authorities, code5® is a proven solution for lone workers who face risk during their daily activities.

“The Sonim Phones Cope With All Conditions.”

“The Sonim phones cope with all conditions,” highlights Watts. “In wet weather they can be worn outside clothing making them quickly and easily accessible to our CEOs. As soon as the need arises, they can activate the yellow button to have a situation monitored. If this escalates or they are faced with a serious threat they can press the red panic button – which works even when the keypad is locked.

From then on everything is recorded and their location tracked. The line is also monitored continuously by a specially trained SitexOrbis controller who will not speak until the CEO indicates that it is clear to do so. SitexOrbis has a direct line to the police and will alert them immediately should the situation get out of hand.”

The Benefits
Rainy days no longer cause stress to CEOs who can keep their phones at h