New technology helps police identify precise location of people across Hertfordshire, Cambridge and Bedfordshire

New location technology What3Words is helping police pinpoint people in need. Picture: Danny Loo

New location technology What3Words is helping police pinpoint people in need. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Police across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) have enlisted a new app to locate people in need.

The location technology, called What3Words, has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares, with each square allocated a unique three-word address.

This allows anyone to refer to their exact location simply by using the designated three words.

The new technology is integrated into the BCH forces’ control room software, which means the public can share their three-word address when contacting the police.

BCH lead for the What3Words rollout, Superintendent Nick Lyall, said: “Being able to identify a caller’s exact location is incredibly important.

“When incidents are reported there is sometimes no easily identifiable landmark or postcode, so trying to establish exactly where these people are can result in valuable minutes being lost.

“With What3Words we can quickly pinpoint where that caller is within a 3m x 3m square.

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“This means that no matter where they are – be it in a field, on a stretch of waterway or in a tent at a festival – we can dispatch an officer to their precise location.

“It can also be beneficial in large buildings such as stadia, universities and airports, which may have one postcode but multiple entry points.

“The new technology enables us to get help to where it is needed as quickly as possible.

“Every minute counts in an emergency so it could really help save lives.”

What3Words recently helped police quickly locate a man who was in the Great River Ouse, Bedfordshire.

As a result, police were able to ensure he received medical attention as swiftly as possible.

What3Words is free-to-use and available as an app and on the What3Words website.

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