Norwich crime fighting receives boost from city-wide radio link

A major initiative to fight crime and anti-social behaviour in Norwich city centre has been re-launched thanks to a helping hand from Brentwood Communications. The ALERT business crime reduction scheme aims to help business owners reduce theft and disorder by sharing information via a city-wide radio and intranet link. Run by Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), the scheme was re-launched in July after Brentwood won the tender to supply a new two-way radio solution system.

ALERT operates as a wide area radio network keeping shops and businesses in touch with the police, the council’s CCTV control centre, and each other. One of the key features is an emergency button which allows individual businesses to raise the alarm in the event of a crime being committed. This alarm pinpoints which business has raised it instantly, allowing for a rapid response.

One of the key requirements of the system is that all businesses remain in the loop at all times. Logistically, this presents a challenge as Norwich’s city centre is large and covers a wide area. So Norwich BID set out clearly in the tender process that they were looking for a supplier with the technical expertise to deliver a reliable city-wide comms IP link that was intuitive to use.

The system designed was built around two Motorola IP Site Connect systems, two radio repeaters in different locations linked by a dedicated IP network. This was necessary to create the network coverage area required across the city centre. Each radio repeater in the two-way radio solution boosts the area of coverage for any radios being used; by linking two repeaters the way the Site Connect system does, you effectively double the coverage area, and all radios on either system are free to roam across both.

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