The location technology What3Words has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares. Image: What3Words

New app to helps Bedfordshire Police pinpoint people in need

Police officers across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) are using a new app to help pinpoint people in need.

The location technology is called What3Words. It has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares. Each square has been allocated a unique three word address. Which means anyone can refer to their exact location simply by using three words.

Supt Nick Lyall, BCH lead for the What3Words rollout, 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. 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. 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.”

The app can also help when the caller is in a large building, such as universities or airports. These large buildings can have one postcode but multiple entry points.

Supt Nick Lyal said:

“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.”

App helped find a man in the Great River Ouse

What3words recently helped the police quickly locate a man who was in the Great River Ouse, Bedfordshire. As a result, the 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. The new technology is integrated into the three forces’ control room software which means the public can share their three word address when contacting the police.