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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 June, 2005, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Instant SOS help at hand on pier
Southend Pier help point
One of the new Southend Pier help points
New emergency help points have been installed on the world's longest pleasure pier to improve safety.

Southend's famous mile-long pier in Essex, which attracts 400,000 visitors a year, was already monitored by 32 safety cameras.

Now anyone can summon help with the press of a button which will take them through to the person in the control room watching the cameras.

With the caller on camera, troublespots can be pinpointed instantly.

The help points have already proved useful. A member of the public reported a fire on the pier and staff were able to put it out before it got out of control.

Funding to install the help points came from the European Union.




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