James Thew - Fotolia

Warwickshire and West Mercia police select Saab to update shared control room

Warwickshire and West Mercia combine emergency and contact centre systems using Saab Group’s Safe unified control room system

The police and crime commissioners for West Mercia and Warwickshire have signed a six-year contract with Swedish defence contractor Saab Group to provide a unified control room and mobile data service for the two police forces.

The systems from Saab, called Safe, are a key part of a major project to create a state-of-the-art operations communications centre (OCC), which will handle all emergency and non-emergency calls to both forces.

The news follows Saab’s framework agreement signed in December 2015 with Cheshire constabulary, which was the first UK force to buy into Safe.

The Safe system enables police forces to migrate from the traditional multi-system approach they currently run where Airwave communications network and future LTE-based ESN (Emergency Services Network) are combined with contact and incident management in a single system.

Warwickshire police and crime commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “People in Warwickshire quite rightly have the expectation that when they contact the police they will be dealt with efficiently and effectively, with the most appropriate police resources used to meet their call for assistance.

“The signing of the Saab contract represents a very big step forward in achieving this and forms a major part of a larger project, which sees the establishment of a new Operations Communications Centre at Neville House in Warwick and at Hindlip in Worcestershire.

“State-of-the-art technology will ensure better co-ordination of resources and an improved level of service for the public.”

West Mercia police and crime commissioner John Campion said the technology would give officers the tools to do their jobs better. “This will enable them to serve our communities in a much more effective, efficient way,” he said.

Read more about police IT

According to West Mercia and Warwickshire, Safe will enable contact handlers to process information faster, and allow the two police forces to make better use of resources and provide a better response to incidents first time.

The system could also open up the potential for new channels to report incidents, improving the way in which the forces interact with the public.

Read more on Mobile networking