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Rebecca develops unique device

Exclusive: Student’s bra strap alarm aims to foil attackers

bra strap deviceA student whose neighbour was violently attacked by a man hiding in rubbish bins has developed a unique personal alarm that clips on to a woman’s 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 21-year-old, who is promoting the alarm to women’s support groups and Police Scotland, 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. She revealed her plans at the Converge Challenge Ready Steady Pitch event held in Edinburgh this week.

The idea came from an incident in her block of flats. 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 originally from York, who spent her teens near Inverness and now lives in Glasgow.

She said that clipping it to the bra strap helped conceal the device and also made it easily reachable instead of it being carried in a bag or pocket. Wearers of the device have a choice whether it emits a sound. Some women said they would not want it to make any noise as they would 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.

Photo: Rebecca Pick (by Terry Murden)

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