A computer system used by the defence and security industries - and found in some of the most high-tech control rooms around the globe - will help to transform the way Cheshire Constabulary works.

The constabulary is the first in the country to adopt a new system, which will provide a single solution to the way Cheshire’s control room operates.

Previously, Cheshire has used seven separate systems in its control room to answer calls, manage incidents, deploy resources and communicate with officers and staff on the ground.

The SAFE platform, which is provided by Swedish defence and security company Saab, replaces all of these integrating them into a single unified software application for all users.

Police and crime commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer said: “Cheshire Constabulary is the first UK force to make the transition from the traditional multi-system approach to a new cost-effective, productive and more integrated control room solution. We are proud to be leading the way in terms of the police service.

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“This is the culmination of a detailed evaluation of our current and future policing needs. By bringing together several systems we will not only reduce costs and see improved efficiency, but will also be in a position to make significantly better use of data and ultimately deliver a better service to the public.

“I pledged to continue embracing advances and innovation in technology for the benefit of the public and my investment in the SAFE platform shows I am delivering on my commitment.”

The system is already used in more than 30 mission-critical control rooms worldwide in a number of industries including emergency services, national security, crisis management, traffic management and aviation.

Chief constable Simon Byrne said: “We are absolutely committed to using high-tech and innovative ideas to support policing in Cheshire. This system offers us the chance to transform the way in which our control room works.

“It will allow the constabulary to respond to calls (via 999 and 101), manage incidents, access information which may be stored about the caller and anyone else involved in an incident and then deploy resources as appropriate – all within one user interface.

Leading the way

“It will enhance the capability to manage repeat callers and vulnerable people and map out locations highlighting key areas such as anti-social behaviour hot spots or an Operation Shield area.

“We are the first UK force to go live with the system - reinforcing the fact that we may be a relatively small force but we are big on ideas and leading the way.”

The system also maps out CCTV cameras and provides a live link to any camera in a particular area. This would mean that an officer does not necessarily need to be deployed to a location to seize footage so it can be viewed as part of an incident. It can simply be viewed from a computer screen from the force’s control room.

Officers can access everything in one user interface – this allows both those in the control centre and officers on the ground, who will be equipped with tablet devices, to see and share real time info at the same time.

The system will roll-out in 2016 and go live in 2017 – using an agile approach to introducing the system, which will see Saab and Cheshire Constabulary working together over the next year to ensure the system reflects how Cheshire operates with the community.

Moving forward the system will be fully integrated with the constabulary’s Police Contact Points and social media channels.