North Yorkshire Police has entered into its third contract renewal with Sepura, marking a decade-long association between the two organisations and extending the practical application of TETRA.
The new element of the force’s communication solution is the integration with Netcall mobility technology of their existing telephony and messaging services with Sepura TETRA radios; enabling maximum efficiencies in officer response to non-emergency incoming calls. NYP’s main objective is to ensure the public – especially victims of crime who may need an additional level of reassurance – receive the quality of service they should expect from their local police force.
Covering over 6,000 miles of road, as well as the unitary authority of York in Northern England, North Yorkshire Police is responsible for policing England’s largest county. Its officers are frequently required to attend incidents in remote locations, where personal safety often depends on robust communications.
“Our officers have to have total trust and confidence in the kit they carry. The proven GPS performance and superb audio quality of Sepura’s radios gives them a communications link that can often be a lifeline,” says Superintendent Glyn Payne, operational lead in the TETRA radio implementation project.
Sepura hand-held radios and in-vehicle terminals are robust tools in emergency scenarios, where the safety of both police officers and the public are a principal concern. Whilst rapid response to calls from the public is a critical factor in effective policing, this latest initiative also drives enhanced capabilities for regular police work.
When an officer is pursuing a line of enquiry, for example, pertinent facts often occur to a witness after the officer has departed. In one such instance a member of public called the new automated switchboard to report new evidence and, with the help of speech recognition technology, NYP was able to route the call directly to the hand-held TETRA radio of the officer they had met while they were still in the neighbourhood. Being able to report the new evidence directly to their personal case officer, the victim of crime received a personal service.
“This innovative approach improves our service to the public, and ultimately builds their confidence in the fact that their police services are responsive and accessible,” adds Superintendent Payne. “And on top of that, our officers’ job satisfaction is greatly enhanced – they are able to spend more time on patrol and less time going back and forth to their station. Such an innovative system could contribute to making mobile phones redundant further with considerable time and cost-saving implications.”
The initiative is a step-change in communications efficiencies, delivering a continuous platform for the radios to connect to the main telephone system – providing a simple way to contact officers whilst they’re still on the beat. But no officer can be available all the time: when driving or dealing with another case, via ring back, they will receive an automated message to the TETRA radio from the Netcall Voicemail service. As a failsafe, to ensure the public get the quality of service they need, any unanswered queries are automatically escalated within the system after 24 hours.
“This automatic integration between Netcall mobility technology and Sepura TETRA radios offers a complementary solution to seamless communications for North Yorkshire Police. This initiative provides intelligent call handling so that the police can serve their public across multiple channels,” says Joakim Hult, Senior Account Manager for Netcall.
Officers can be traced and reached more easily, offering more transparent central control and greater public accessibility.
“Sepura is delighted to be part of this important initiative,” commented Dawn Griffiths, Account Manager for Sepura. “We are proud to continue supplying Airwave radio equipment to North Yorkshire Police and to maintain our long established partnership.”