SMS technology to be used in quarantine compliance checks

Tasmania Police will use SMS technology to further strengthen home quarantine compliance checking from tomorrow.

Since 25 March this year, Tasmania Police has co-ordinated over 36,000 physical checks of those required to home quarantine.  This has only been achieved through the support from volunteers within the State Emergency Service, Tasmania Fire Service and up until May, the Australian Defence Force.

“Recent events in Victoria show there has never been a more important time to reassure the Tasmanian community that Tasmania Police are ensuring that those entering our state who are required to home quarantine, are compliant with their obligations,” Acting Inspector John Toohey said.

“To further support physical checking across the State, Tasmania Police has consulted across Tasmania and abroad to locate a suitable application that would support a technology-based compliance checking model.”

Acting Inspector Toohey said that “Whispir, a product currently used by the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management (DPFEM) to send out bulk SMS messages was identified as the best solution.”

The tool uses SMS and mobile phone location services to pinpoint the location of a phone, therefore the location of the person subject to home quarantine.  It requires the person to opt in and does not live track the person but provides a map image when the link within the SMS is pressed.

“The use of the tool does not replace physical checking. It’s being implemented to increase checks being conducted, making sure everyone subject to quarantine conditions is complying with their obligations, for the safety of the Tasmanian community.”

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