Network ‘Insite’ improves operational effectiveness in the West Midlands

Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Police are deploying two powerful web-based products supplied by Airwave that are designed to improve operational effectiveness. Insite, a real-time web-based management and reporting tool, and asset management enterprise (AME), an asset tracking and management information system solution, will be integrated into the forces’ existing infrastructure to ensure the most effective and efficient use of the Airwave service.

Aug 18, 2011
By Paul Jacques

Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Police are deploying two powerful web-based products supplied by Airwave that are designed to improve operational effectiveness. Insite, a real-time web-based management and reporting tool, and asset management enterprise (AME), an asset tracking and management information system solution, will be integrated into the forces’ existing infrastructure to ensure the most effective and efficient use of the Airwave service.

David Sangster, UK services director for Airwave, explained: “Insite enables emergency services to obtain more value from their existing Airwave service in order to improve both ‘business as usual’ and ‘special event’ operational performance. Running parallel to this is AME, which is designed to help save time and money by ensuring the whereabouts and condition of assets, such as radio equipment, is always known.”

West Midlands Police has been supporting the development of Insite for over 18 months and has invested significant time and effort to ensure the solution is fit for purpose. Insite enables faster and more informed decision-making by providing instant access to Airwave network service information.

Staffordshire and West Midlands joint head of ICT, Phil Lovell said: “Insite will instantly give us vital information on network usage and can identify peak usage times and training requirements that individual users may have. This, together with AME, will mean that we can generate meaningful reports showing the network usage in real time and adapt our usage as and when necessary and manage costs.”

Photo management

Airwave has also teamed up with Timico Mobile to deliver a photo management solution that securely captures and manages photographs using PDAs or BlackBerry devices.

Designed to work as a support tool in conjunction with the existing radio communication infrastructure that is already in place, Timico’s mobile hand-e-pix application can be used to collect a combination of images, locations and data.

Nick Taylor, Timico business development manager, said: “The hand-e-pix application is already being used successfully by West Yorkshire Police and Essex Police and has been acknowledged to provide real business improvement and measurable savings.”

Following an initial trial of 500 devices last year, West Yorkshire Police is now deploying 3,400 devices with the hand-e-pix application – originally supplied by Handheld PCs which was acquired by the Timico Technology Group last year – to take photos to use as evidence in court and of seized equipment at a crime scene. The BlackBerry application allows police officers to capture ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ for each photo taken and to send the information wirelessly to a central server.

Mr Sangster explained: “With hand-e-pix, the user can quickly and easily take an image and add notes to the image, which is also stamped with the time and date, user’s ID and GPS location coordinates. Images are then locked down to preserve their evidential integrity.”

Images can be automatically sent and stored on the back office photo management suite and can only be retrieved using secure access. This enables back office staff to sort, search and analyse the images and data. Examples of images captured include traffic violations, house searches, licensing visits, graffiti, fly-tipping, RSPCA cases and injuries from assaults.

Hand-e-pix is now also available on the Apple iOS platform for iPad and iPhone devices.

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