Data on the move

BAPCO 2008 was held at the Business Design Centre in London this week, designed specifically for those involved in communications to exchange ideas, experience and knowledge.

Apr 24, 2008
By Paul Jacques
Marc Jones

BAPCO 2008 was held at the Business Design Centre in London this week, designed specifically for those involved in communications to exchange ideas, experience and knowledge.

APD Communications was due to unveil the latest version of its mobile data system POLARIS (Police Access to Remote Information Systems) at BAPCO 2008, being held this week at London’s Business Design Centre.

POLARIS is used by a number of forces across the country to provide secure, reliable access to information on the move.

The new version integrates across multiple devices, maximising ease and speed of use, and making it easily customisable for different requirements. Device options include in-vehicle touchscreens, tablet PCs, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and electronic passport readers.

With the increasing importance of mobile data, it provides officers with access to a wide range of national databases, in-house intelligence, command and control systems and other disparate systems, through one simple application.

Merseyside Police was one of the most recent forces to see the benefits of the original POLARIS.

Using standard policing methods, if an officer needed to do a check on people or vehicles they would request this information via the radio. The control room operators would deal with the request and information would be passed back via the radio to the officer. This meant that two people were involved for every police check that was made which is not only time consuming but could also lead to inaccuracies.

The decision to move towards mobile data in order to alleviate many of Merseyside Police’s communication issues was initiated by Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe.

As one of the five metropolitan forces in England, Merseyside Police patrols an area of 253 square miles serving a primarily urban population of 1.4 million people. It is divided into six district areas policed by over 4,200 regular officers and 350 special constables, supported by a further 1,700 civilian staff.

With such a large workforce it is even more important that communications between officers are carried out quickly and accurately.

And with the increasing amount of voice and data information that officers need to perform their duty effectively, it has become apparent that other tools are required in addition to the standard police radio.

CC Hogan-Howe not only wanted his force to increase its visibility to the general public but ensure that information was delivered at the right place, at the right time.

In addition, with the introduction of a mobile data control room, operators could have their time freed up to carry out other jobs, while the safety of officers on patrol could also be improved.

It was the ability to access information while on the beat – incident updates, details of vehicle licensing, insurance and disqualified driver records – that was one of the key functions that the Merseyside force wanted from its mobile data solution.

The APD resource location system INCATM was already being used in 500 Merseyside vehicles.

The addition of POLARIS provided the secure mobile data facility needed, from simple messaging through to automated incident despatch.

Merseyside is using POLARIS to provide its officers on patrol with real-time Police National Computer (PNC) checks and access to several national databases.

The system runs across BT redcare’s Mobitex network with Microbus Touchscreen Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) installed in police vehicles.

The amount of time it takes to carry out routine checks has now been reduced significantly. Officers can update incident logs at the scene, which ensures that information is passed back to the control room quickly and accurately, and can also drill down into the PNC to get more detail. As a result it is not just one short call that is being removed but a number of much longer conversations.

The mobile data system has also been integrated with APD’s Automatic V

Related News

Select Vacancies

Sergeants and Detective Sergeants

Metropolitan Police Service

Police Sergeant Transferee

Merseyside Police

Police Officer Transferee

Merseyside Police

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional