Lincolnshire Police to use cloud-based control room system from Motorola Solutions
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

G4S has awarded Motorola Solutions a 10-year £6 million contract to provide Lincolnshire Police with the UK’s first cloud-based integrated CommandCentral Control Room Solution (CRS).

According to Motorola Solutions, the solution is a unified and highly scalable platform that integrates multiple control room functions, including Integrated Communications Control System (ICCS), Contact Management, Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), mapping and call logging. It claims that through using this platform, Lincolnshire Police will benefit from a continuous workflow experience, enabling control room operators to handle calls faster, make more informed decisions, allocate resources more efficiently as well as coordinate seamlessly with other support organisations.

Part of the intention is to reduce the need for control room operators to be constantly acting as a human bridge between the various systems, through copying and pasting data into different forms, thereby freeing them up to perform more high-value tasks and increase the number of incoming calls that are addressed in one session without the need to involve or deploy police officers out in the field.

According to Bill Skelly, chief constable for Lincolnshire Police, some of the factors that make the solution the “right answer for us” include Lincolnshire’s very wide geographical area (2,500 square miles) and the way in which the county “is largely speaking populated across its whole area,” which necessitates a dispersed model for policing. He added that this is supported by Lincolnshire’s use of mobile data terminals to remove the need for officers to return to their stations and that “we’ve very keen to take [this] to the next level” when the Emergency Services Network (ESN) allows the transfer of such data “in a much better way and to a much wider coverage”. Lincolnshire Police currently uses Motorola Solutions’ Pronto suite of mobile workforce applications that digitise frontline operational workflows and Motorola Solutions claims that once integrated with CRS, Pronto will give Lincolnshire police officers direct access to command and control, and the Police National Computer from the field.

Motorola Solutions claims that CommandCentral CRS will also significantly simplify management for Lincolnshire Police’s IT team. Through providing control room capabilities ‘as a service’ via the cloud, it will no longer be necessary to pre-determine how much data capacity or how many fixed positions are required. It will also remove the need for a dedicated back-up in the case of a site failure. Together, these features are expected to reduce costs and increase operational flexibility.

Andrew White, Lincolnshire Police’s assistant chief officer, explained that the force’s current back-up control room is only around 200 yards away from the main site, “so if should anything happen to this location our ability to carry on operating, which is the position for every other police force at the moment, would be severely comprised.” In contrast, the new solution will be accessible via a web browser, allowing a control room to be set up in any location with an internet connection. White added that this flexibility could be used to temporarily set up additional control rooms to deal with emergencies and extreme weather events such as heavy snowfalls (which the county suffered from on two occasions last winter) and flooding on the East coast.

David Robinson, business development manager at Motorola Solutions, said that there will be a phased approach to the introduction of the new solution and that the timing of each phase is dependent on when “existing functionality rolls off from Lincolnshire’s perspective”. He added that the first phase will be to replace the existing ICCS with the new cloud-based ICCS in February 2019. Phase two will be the introduction of the integrated CRM (customer-relationship management) module which will take place in the middle part of 2019 and by the end of 2019 the CAD element will have been implemented. He added that these three phases will together replace three existing siloed core operating systems, which will result in a “single coherent whole”.

Robinson added that “…Some of the principles we’ve worked with Lincolnshire and other forces to implement in terms of Pronto in capturing accurate and validated information at the front end of the process which then can be reused multiple times will apply similarly here, so you’re not expecting an operator to take down a person’s name, address and contact details on one system and put them into another… Once that information is put into one system, it should be transferable across multiple systems…”

Regarding resilience, Robinson said that availability requirements are specified in the contract and Motorola Solutions will leverage Microsoft Azure’s (the cloud provider) experience and expertise in terms of security and resilience to ensure there’s the required levels of redundancy (including on a geographical basis).

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