CLEVELAND Police is set to improve efficiency and reduce administration time by being one of the first forces in the United Kingdom to connect their remotely based officers to one main voice and data network using IP technology.
Siemens Communications will carry out a £320,000 project between now and September 2002 that will replace overloaded connections between the nine main stations and give officers working from a further 10 remote locations access to central data for the first time.
Ken Ayre, Telecommunications Manager for Cleveland Police, said: “When we started on the project we knew that we had to improve the existing network, but were also very keen to invest in something that would benefit the whole force.”
Cleveland, like all forces, has a number of police stations and houses with anything from two to 20 officers working there. These posts are not connected to the main networks but they will soon be enjoying the benefits of being able to access centrally held information directly and be part of the internal voice network.
The Voice Over IP connections along dial-up ISDN lines will carry voice and data at the same time and provide a permanent secure connection whilst the user is logged in. 60 users will be connected via a HiPath 5000 system at Force Headquarters which will enable the force to incorporate more IP in the future.
Ken added: “We chose Siemens as they were the only company able to offer us an end-to-end solution. With so many different components it is important that we have a supplier that will ensure that everything comes together. Siemens engineers are working very closely with us to ensure the system does everything we need it to do.“
Cleveland Police has a growing number of specialist data applications to store and trace information and the new system will provide quick access to all of these for the whole force. The main intersite, 2mb’s leased line connections, are currently running at capacity and will be upgraded to 100mb ’s Microwave links able to carry 50 times the amount of information. To keep everything under lock and key Siemens are working with Insight Consulting Ltd to establish secure user ID, firewalls and data encryption.
Siemens account manager Derek Seal said: “Cleveland Police is leading the way for other police forces by connecting all of their staff and improving efficiency and service. IP is happening now and can bring huge improvements to both new and existing voice and data networks and the Cleveland solution shows that Siemens is able to provide these integrated systems.”
To provide the end-to-end solution Siemens is using the expertise of Groupe Pathfinder Ltd and Insight Consulting Ltd.