Police trial domestic violence SOS alarms

A new SOS device is being trialled by 50 women who are at high risk of domestic abuse in New South Wales.

The mobile device, the first of its kind in Australia, uses GPS technology to help police quickly locate victims. The user can check-in their location to a central database over the course of the day.

The initial six-month pilot cost $84,000 and resulted in six cars being dispatched and one arrest.

The program hopes to streamline domestic violence calls by creating a 24-hour call centre. Woman can use a designated SOS button to contact an operator who will dispatch emergency calls to PoliceLink.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said NSW Police have established a dedicated phone line at PoliceLink to take these emergency calls.

"The dedicated phone line will mean that a call for help can be prioritised and police can be dispatched to the exact location."

In 2010-2011 Community Service's Domestic Violence line received more than 22,000 calls from people needing support and received 19,836 harm reports of children involved in domestic violence.

Minister for Women Pru Goward and NSW Police have said the new trial will provide extra safety and security to vulnerable women.

"The SOS alarms have been specifically designed for women in this situation and are already having a real impact on the lives of these women," Ms Goward said.

This story Police trial domestic violence SOS alarms first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.