PITO puts NMAT on the case

Senior public managers have gained an insight into how the police service uses the National Mutual Aid Telephony (NMAT) system to handle the high volume of calls received following a major incident.

Apr 5, 2007
By David Howell
Assistant Chief Constable Ben Smith

Senior public managers have gained an insight into how the police service uses the National Mutual Aid Telephony (NMAT) system to handle the high volume of calls received following a major incident.

Dave Blackiston, from the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO), delivered a presentation on the system`s call-handling capability at the Transforming Frontline Service Delivery conference in central London.

NMAT allows police forces to provide call-taking assistance to other forces when dealing with an incident. NMAT directs and distributes calls received from the public allowing for a better, more efficient service. It was launched in December 2006 and was used most recently following the Cumbria train crash.

NMAT supports the Home Office large major enquiry system (HOLMES 2).

Mr Blackiston, product manager for NMAT said: “The NMAT and HOLMES 2 systems have proven to be reliable high-tech partners in police incident rooms.

“When a host force is inundated with calls in the immediate aftermath of a major incident, the force can activate NMAT to facilitate mutual aid from police officers and police staff based throughout the country. That extra manpower can often be crucial in restoring calm after the chaos.”

In his presentation, Mr Blackiston also explained how NMAT supports the two main HOLMES 2 applications, which are Major Incident Room and Casualty Bureau. Police use the Major Incident Room application to help sort, manage and analyse the information generated from a range of sources including CCTV footage, phone calls from the public, eyewitness reports, house-to-house inquiries and police interviews.

In order for other forces to be able to access this information, two web-based interfaces have been developed to allow officers who are lending assistance to remotely enter and log information into each of the main applications respectively.

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