14 November 2019

Keeping the Welsh public safe with PSBA’s network

Keeping the Welsh public safe with PSBA’s network image

Dyfed-Powys Police (DPP) is the territorial police force responsible for Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. They cover the largest police area in England and Wales, and are the third largest in the UK.

With 1,800 full-time officers, 97 Special Constables, and 151 Police Community Support Officers, DPP already serves more than half a million people, which rises significantly each year as tourism to the area grows. Responding professionally, and as quickly as possible, to the wide range of enquiries and reported incidents is a priority.

The challenge

DPP has used PSBA’s network services for a decade. It enables them to forge cost-effective links with communities and localities that other providers can’t reach. PSBA has been a crucial enabler: it provides connectivity services into third party partners including hospitals and schools. But, as technological trends shifted towards more body-worn video and better CCTV, bandwidth was increasingly becoming a barrier.

Upload speeds began to suffer. Officers spent longer behind desks transferring video footage rather than being where they needed to be – out in the community. Demand meant speeds needed to increase and the circuit upgrades delivered an increase over 100 times, from 0.5Mpbs to 100Mpbs.

CCTV was holding them back too. The absence of a system failed to reflect the force’s vision, mission and values of working with communities, to bring real-time CCTV back to the monitoring station in the police service’s control room.

PSBA had already completed a circuit upgrade programme for DPP. Just one in a series of future-proofing capacity planning initiatives designed to enable DPP to stay ahead of changes in policing in a cost efficient and sustainable way. But more was needed.

The solution

PSBA implemented resilient, cost effective and efficient mechanisms for delivering ICT services in a constantly evolving environment. These would help DPP to address immediate challenges, and future-proof the network.

First came a new CCTV system to equip DPP with a reliable medium for monitoring what was happening in local communities, in order to keep them safe. The upgraded CCTV system allows officers to download high-quality images in real-time, and instantly transfer them over the PSBA network to the station’s control centre. The enhanced CCTV capability has already led to a series of arrests. It is live in 17 locations throughout DPP.

An investment in Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras also supported the service’s digitalisation strategy. Officers can now record exceptional quality video on their device and upload it onto a cloud-hosted platform, once they return to the police station. With bandwidth constraints eliminated, the images are uploaded within seconds. BWV allows officers to mange the videos from the cloud, and distribute them directly to the Crown Prosecution Service and solicitors in one smooth process. Having quick, reliable access to video evidence has led to a reduction in disputes, helping to reduce delays across the criminal justice system.

Mark Hall, Senior ICT Operational Manager, said: "Investment in upgrading our core network helps us to offer better policing today, and readies DPP to play our part in the National Enabling Programme. When our community needs us, we can respond quickly and efficiently knowing we have the tools our officers need to get the job done in an ever- evolving environment.

"Working with PSBA is critical – it’s what will enable our officers to connect securely, and reliably, to our network while away from HQ/stations."

How it helped:

  • Improved network with better connectivity
  • Bandwidth increase
  • Faster upload and transfer times
  • Officers are able to access and monitor CCTV in real-time
  • Exceptional image quality

The outcome:

  • Better protection for the Welsh public
  • Officers’ time is being spent more efficiently
  • Increased number of arrests made within the community
  • Fewer officers inside HQ/stations, more outside forging connections with communities
  • Streamlined process between third parties
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