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Police Scotland awards National Network contract to BT

Police Scotland is embarking on a £3.9m network project as part of its wider digital transformation strategy

Police Scotland has picked BT Enterprise to oversee its £3.9m National Network Project, or NatNet2, which will see legacy connectivity to police stations around the country phased out in favour of a single unified network.

Once complete, the upgraded network is set to improve service and efficiency, with frontline policing staff benefiting from improved performance, capability and stability through a single provider.

The new network has already been rolled out to 20 sites across Scotland as a pilot project, ahead of a national phased roll-out set to begin in March 2020.

“Delivering new network services for Police Scotland will have a big impact on the working lives of our officers and staff, and improvements to the network effectively underpin our programme of technology-enabled transformation,” said Police Scotland’s interim ICT director, Martin Low.

“NatNet2 will ease some of the frustrations colleagues feel about how our systems perform on a day-to-day basis.”

Those already using NatNet2 through the pilot programme, and have already started using services such as video-conferencing for the first time, are able to log on to IT systems faster, and upload large video files – such as footage of interviews – in seconds.

“We’re proud of the part we’re playing in transforming Police Scotland’s computer network,” said David Wallace, director of BT Enterprise’s Scottish public sector business, and chair of the BT Group’s Scotland board. “We’re helping to connect its offices the length and breadth of Scotland to faster, more reliable broadband. By making use of our extensive network, we know the faster speeds will be welcomed by police staff – especially in rural areas.”

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The NatNet2 project forms part of a 10-year Digital, Data and ICT strategy at Police Scotland, which was first set out in the autumn of 2018. The Scottish Police Authority believes the programme, which is set to cost £244m in capital funding and £54m in reform funding – according to the initial business case – will generate £357m of benefits in the next decade.

Earlier in 2019, BT – via its mobile network division EE – also became the main mobile network supplier and contractor to Police Scotland in a £21m deal that will ultimately tie into the troubled Emergency Services Network (ESN) project.

This deal will also see Police Scotland using Samsung smartphone devices, alongside Motorola Solutions’ Pronto digital notebook software package, and mobile device management services from BlackBerry.

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