Converged national GIS system being rolled out to Scottish police forces

The latest geographic information systems (GIS) technology is being rolled out to all Scottish police forces.

Apr 23, 2009
By Paul Jacques

The latest geographic information systems (GIS) technology is being rolled out to all Scottish police forces.
Although all eight forces currently use GIS technology, this will be the first time that all the forces in Scotland will share a national system across the country.
The software is being supplied by ESRI (UK), specialists in GIS modeling and mapping software and technology, as part of a £1.35 million contract.
The Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA), which provides expert support services to the country’s eight police forces and criminal justice community, will deploy the software, services and training to forces and associated agencies. The system will allow a more consistent, accurate and efficient approach to managing and responding to incidents at all levels across the country.
The software will be linked to centralised incident data, providing the Scottish police community with a single source of accurate and up-to-date information, which will help improve overall understanding of crime patterns while enhancing intelligence exchange between forces.
For improved response, emergency calls from all parts of Scotland will be geographically coded and linked to the GIS system, which will plot calls by postcode. This will allow call handlers – the software can manage up to 600 calls at any one time – to deploy police from the nearest location, enhancing response times and ensuring the most efficient use of resources.
To increase policing effectiveness, crime analysts within every force will use the new software to identify patterns and trends in different types of crime, resulting in more effective decision making and resource planning at both a local and national level.
Robert Kirkwood, chief information officer, SPSA, said: “ESRI (UK)‘s GIS technology will help us achieve our goal of facilitating a national, joined-up approach to geographic information management and analysis across all eight Scottish police forces and associated law enforcement agencies.
“The software will act as a hub for linking a number of key information sources that will allow Scottish police forces to work more effectively and efficiently. We are confident that the roll-out of this converged national GIS solution will be successful and ultimately help Scotland’s police service provide a more direct response to tackling and preventing crime.”
Implementation is currently underway, with the new system expected to be in place by November 2009 and available to analysts by the end of the year.
As part of the contract, ESRI (UK) will provide the SPSA with access to its range of ArcGIS GIS software, including its CrimeAnalyst and ArcGIS Server software, replacing all command and control and analyst applications currently provided by other GIS providers.


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