The use of IoT in public safety applications can ensure an increased sense of security among the more vulnerable part of the general population, like women and children.
Although safety is a concern for every human, it becomes more of a pressing need for women and children, who are among the most vulnerable to crimes like violence, harassment, and trafficking. It is estimated that globally, 35% of women have been subjected to violent crimes at some point in their lives. Despite the formulation and enforcement of strict laws prohibiting violence against the vulnerable groups, such appalling figures emphasize the need for increased safety measures. Incorporating IoT in public safety can provide law enforcement a great leap forward in minimizing crime in general and ensure the safety of women and children. Following are three potential use cases of IoT in public safety applications, which will assure women of their safety at all times, and allow them to go about their lives normally:
Applications of IoT in public safety
1. Wearable safety trackers
Being aware of the whereabouts of girls and children when they are away from home can be a challenge for parents. It is especially challenging when they go missing without any warning. IoT enabled tags or wearables can enable law enforcement authorities to track people if they go missing and ensure their families of their safety at all times. Smart watches and other kinds of wearable accessories can be used to monitor physical signs of panic and anxiety through the wearer’s heart rate and other metrics to trigger responses like alarming nearby authorities and emergency contacts. Such smart security solutions for women using IoT can ensure quick responses to emergencies and prevent potentially traumatizing experiences for women as well as children.
2. Smart surveillance networks
Surveillance networks consisting of security cameras are already prevalent in most developed countries. However, there are simply too few eyes monitoring what these cameras see. In most cases, video camera footage is used as a retrospective source of evidence and clues in the aftermath of crimes. However, by using machine learning algorithms and incorporating additional IoT devices (e.g., sensors), surveillance systems can become smarter and proactive in ensuring safety. IoT enabled surveillance networks can sense potential threats early by sensing the general levels of stress in public areas and instigating action when any anomalies are found. IoT enabled security systems will not only enable a timely response from the authorities but also act as deterrents for potential offenders.
3. IoT-enabled law enforcement
As an extension of the above applications, the entire response system of security and law enforcement agencies can be interconnected using IoT. Governments are already using big data for law enforcement by collecting data from different sources and analyzing them to find patterns that can prepare them to respond in a timely and effective manner. IoT can enhance this process by providing a greater volume of accurate, structured data that is collected in real-time. The real-time data gathering and analysis can empower the law enforcement agencies to not only make short-term tactical decisions to respond to emergencies, but can also help them make long-term strategic plans to maximize the effectiveness of their personnel.
Using a broader approach while applying IoT for public safety improvement will increase the overall level of public safety, including that of women. However, there is still a need for individually addressing the safety issues of women, especially in the underdeveloped and developing regions. Synergizing technology with proper direction and decision-making from law enforcement authorities will eventually lead to a society that is equally safe for both men and women.