West Yorkshire Police improves IT support for staff

West Yorkshire Police has improved IT support to its workforce with upgraded service management software.

Apr 7, 2011
By Paul Jacques
L-R: PC Joe Swan, Sgt Thomas Neilson and Sgt Chris Smith

West Yorkshire Police has improved IT support to its workforce with upgraded service management software.

The force is using the latest version of Hornbill Supportworks ITSM (IT service management) Enterprise. It is used by 123 IT staff to support over 10,000 police force employees serving in the area. Already an existing user of the company’s ITIL (IT infrastructure library)-compatible Supportworks ITSM, the force has upgraded to the latest version following a restructure of its IT department and the requirement to continue to provide a support service 24 hours, seven days a week for 150 IT systems that support critical, ie, emergency, and non-critical operations.

As part of the upgrade, West Yorkshire Police has rolled out a self-service facility for all staff to log
and check the progress of their calls, freeing-up service desk staff to provide a more proactive service.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson explained: “Part of our strategic IT restructuring programme was to maximise technology solutions, including the service management systems we rely on to support our users.

“With the introduction of self-service, we are now able to provide a much more efficient service to police officers. Our goal is to support 90 per cent of calls on the non-critical systems through the web portal by next month.”

The self-service web portal is used extensively by staff to log non-critical service calls on desktops, BlackBerrys (used by over 4,000 police officers), voice radios, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems and the CCTV networks. The service desk now has increased capacity to provide an improved support service to calls made on critical systems used for 999 operations, crimes and major disasters.

The IT team uses the enterprise software for a range of ITIL disciplines, including incident management, change management, configuration management and problem management. The IT team is also using the service catalogue feature within Supportworks, an important part of the ITIL framework.

*Governments need to set aside wireless spectrum for use by public safety officers in the event of emergencies according to a senior executive at Motorola Solutions.

Jeppe Jepsen, director of international business relations at Motorola Solutions, likened broadband spectrum for public safety to hard shoulders where emergency vehicles can bypass traffic congestion.

He told ZDNet Asia that without a dedicated spectrum, public safety officers will need to rely on public spectrum, which is often not at a mission-critical level and can be congested during times of emergency.

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