Without doubt, effective policing depends on efficient information management. Every year over a million evidential images could be generated by a mid-sized police force. These images are typically from myriad sources, including forensic teams, Closed Circuit Television cameras and increasingly, members of the public. Without the capability to organise the huge volumes of images being generated and to turn them into actionable intelligence, opportunities to reduce crime and protect communities can be missed. It is reasonable to assume that a significant proportion of the images collected for policing purposes might be deemed as containing personal information and would be the subject of legal safeguards relating to Data Protection and Human Rights – in particular the right of an individual to a fair trial and the right to respect for private and family life as described in Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. These legal safeguards include the need to develop full audit trails that document any editing and processing applied to an image; preventing unlawful disclosure of personal information; ensuring the disposal of personal information once it is no longer required for policing purposes. There are other requirements but this helps to highlight the administrative burden placed on police forces struggling with limited resources.There is some good news, though. In today’s tough fiscal environment, governments are looking for ways to reduce public spending and this has been a catalyst for new digital policing work practices. At the heart of this digital strategy are secure digital asset management (DAM) systems that will transform not just policing but also the criminal justice system.Here are 5 key benefits DAM systems are delivering:1. A robust audit trail for evidential imagesWhen it comes to crime prosecution, it is vital that the integrity of evidential images is protected right from the point of capture. The documentation of audit trails for police images, however, creates a back office burden that potentially negates their crime-fighting benefits. By automating the process of auditing each officer’s interaction with a digital asset, DAMs are helping to eliminate much of the administrative overhead.2. Reduced risk of media obsolescenceWrite Once Read Many Times (WORM) CDs are popular among police forces as a means to store master images. By some estimates, these WORM CDs are expected to last a maximum of 25 years under ideal conditions. However, with repeated rewrites, the aluminium reflective layer starts to erode after a while, a phenomenon known as disk rot. The longevity of storage media is a key concern for police forces especially when you consider the time periods for which certain images must be retained. In many countries, for example, there is a requirement for unresolved missing persons images to be retained indefinitely.If you had missing persons images on WORM CDs, how could you be sure that in, say 10 years time, there will be replay hardware available for viewing the contents? Current trends point to a change in the common media of choice roughly every 12 years. Due to these concerns, data held on WORM media will need to be migrated onto newer media and transcoded to a format that is more accessible.With a DAM solution, images are held in a secure central repository with suitable levels of backup and when properly managed, the task of migrating data onto new media and new formats is less problematic.3. Evidence storage costs kept under controlThe increasing volumes of digital assets being generated by police forces will serve to accelerate the migration from CDs to alternative and more cost effective storage media. A mid-size police force for example, could end up using tens of thousands of CD-ROMs for archiving digital images – a costly method for archiving digital assets, especially given the increasing use of video evidence. Wider use of digital cameras and other data devices across the force, and amongst the general public, has increased the volume of digital images.As the proportion of images with long legal retention periods increases, more storage capacity will be required. Let’s take for example a force that wants to deploy 50 body-worn cameras to a neighbourhood patrol team. Let’s say the body-worn cameras record at a resolution of 720 x 576 pixels and a frame rate of 25 fps. Let’s also assume that body-worn video must be retained for 31 days before being overwritten. If you do the sums, that means you would need to provide 28 Terabytes – that’s a lot of storage! The situation is exacerbated by the need to also retain digital information with longer retention periods. If you had to store images of missing persons, your police force would be obliged to retain the image up until at least 6 years after the case had been resolved.DAMs provide the centralised scalability you need for cost effective storage of short and longer term digital assets. By leveraging a client server architecture and IP technology, DAMs can offer multiple storage options: from a locally managed DAM system to a fully cloud-based solution for reduced capital expense.4. Collaboration enhanced through efficient information sharingBy embracing international data standards such as ANSI/NISO Z39.50 which is used to standardise information retrieval, DAM systems can help to streamline collaboration and information sharing. It means that police officers can digitally transfer case information to prosecution lawyers, helping to reduce the time for case preparation. It also provides a secure platform for sharing intelligence with other forces to improve collaboration in the fight to reduce crime.The enhanced information sharing provided by the DAM means that frontline officers can use their mobile devices or TETRA radios to gain real-time access to intelligence. This creates the possibility of officers starting to build digital case files from the street and significantly increase the efficiency of the criminal justice system – especially for low-level volume crime that tends to clog up the system which is generally handled by front line officers.5. Faster searching and retrieval of digital imagesBy archiving images in a common format, the task of sharing intelligence across the force is made much easier, ensuring that the full value of digital imagery can be realised. A recent case in the UK, highlights the consequences of inefficient information management. A pair of raiders were caught in the act of burgling a public house. Unfortunately, vital evidence including crime scene photographs captured by police officers, was lost by Crown Prosecution Service lawyers. That case was lost with the suspects reportedly laughing at the victims as they walked free from court.There are countless examples of where better information management would have prevented a crime. By ensuring that the right information gets to the right person at the right time, DAMs provide police forces with a tool that not only helps in reducing crime but also in helping to eliminate paperwork and to streamline the prosecution process.With the Photograph and Intelligence Communication System and MTP6000 Series TETRA radio, Motorola Solutions is building a solution portfolio to help drive digital working into front line policing for enhanced public safety.Tunde Williams is in Global Product and Solutions Marketing for TETRA.Tunde is on LinkedIn at uk.linkedin.com/pub/olatunde-williams/5/282/67a/ Follow #SaferSmarterFaster on Twitter.Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Motorola-Solutions-Community-6519590/about
When we think about public safety - police, fire and emergency medical services - we think in terms of protecting the public and Public Safety officers. But not all incidents have successful outcomes. When there are human tragedies we are naturally uncomfortable discussing or even thinking about the economic impact these incidents have, whether they involve damage to property, injury, loss of income or tragically the loss of life. Counting the cost comes later.
When the economic impacts of these incidents are assessed across society as a whole the first thing you notice is the size of the sums involved - they are staggeringly huge. The totals are built up from the fortunately small numbers of major incidents, the ones we all recognise, read about online and see on TV. Examples include the recent flooding in the UK where hundreds of thousands of people were affected or a tunnel fire in the Alps which results in deaths and severed transport links. No amount of investment can prevent natural disasters and no amount of planning can protect against the unforeseen, however improving the response and getting people back on their feet quickly can reduce the impact. At the other end of the scale there is petty vandalism, traffic incidents or burglary. While these incidents, individually, impact only a few members of the public per instance the volumes are substantial. It is the combination of these few large and many very small incidents that add up to the overall socioeconomic impact.
So what is the socioeconomic impact of each additional euro or pound invested in improving the capabilities of the Public Safety organisations? If crime could be cut by 1% or emergency services were able to improve response times by 2%, what would the overall economic benefits to society be? Fortunately we have economists who look at these issues, make calculations and brief our governments so that they can, with better knowledge of the facts, make the tough decisions on where to spend limited resources.
Two recent studies looked into one aspect of Public Safety investment and its socioeconomic value. One report The Socio Economic Value of Mission Critical Mobile Applications for Public Safety in the UK: 2x10MHz in 700MHz undertaken by the LSE found:
“£150 million of efficiency savings per annum if the current efficiency benefits in undertaking some integrated operational duties between the frontline and back-office being obtained by some UK Police Forces (1) were realised across the UK’s Police Force. (Reference 1 - British APCO Journal. January 31, 2012)”
The other undertaken by Wik, The need for PPDR Broadband Spectrum in the bands below 1 GHz, found:
“Given (1) the large numbers of people impacted by a natural disaster, (2) the considerable potential for property damage, and (3) the risk to social cohesion in the aftermath of a disaster, it is clear that even small improvements in the effectiveness of PPDR [Public Protection and Disaster Relief]could have large benefits. Further, it is clear that there is ample room for improved ability to coordinate and interoperate.”
Both reports identify and quantify areas where socioeconomic benefits could result from investment in mission critical applications supported by access to dedicated Public Safety LTE mobile broadband. In the case of the Wik report it also provides readers with “food for thought” scenarios from which their own conclusions can be drawn.
It’s not a comfortable subject to discuss and you really can’t put a price on life, security or people’s safety. Ideally there would be unlimited resources delivering complete safety for all but unfortunately that’s not the case so someone needs to do the calculations and make the argument for investment.
David Parry is Director, Solutions Marketing EMEA.
David is on LinkedIn at uk.linkedin.com/in/davidgparry
Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter.
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Where’s TEDS? It’s a question that people often ask. Well the answer to the question is that today it’s in Notodden, in south eastern Norway.
With the thoughts of the public safety community and the mission critical communications industry turning ever more towards data, TEDS (TETRA Enhanced Data Service) is coming into its own as it has the ability to support the vast majority of applications our Public Safety organizations want to run. And users are being pleasantly surprised by its performance.
The pilot being run with Nødnett in Norway is highlighting the real capability of TEDS in an operational environment. The pilot is testing live video streaming to and from control rooms and vehicles, as well as applications such as license plate checks, fingerprint scanning and remote access to data bases.
“The testing has proved that data can be securely transmitted on our network. Nødnett data services will enable users to report in real-time from accident scenes, stream video and share images.…. We are impressed with the capability of TEDS to support concurrent data streams and support critical data applications that end users need....” says Tor Helge Lyngstøl, Director General Norwegian Directorate for Emergency Communication
At the Critical Communications Europe event in Amsterdam last week we had a live demonstration of Real Time Video Information (RTVi) over TEDS, taking a video feed from a camera on the stand, and using a Dimetra IP Compact system, an MTS2 base station and an MTM5000 mobile radio. The demo created quite a buzz as people watched themselves in real-time over TEDS.
Take a look at the press release to find out more about the pilot project and TEDS deployment in Norway:
And why not see it for yourself – watch the video to find out exactly what its being used for and the performance being achieved - I think you will be surprised.
David Parry is Director, Solutions Marketing EMEA. David is on LinkedIn at uk.linkedin.com/in/davidgparry
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PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS. When most people think of Public Safety, first responders come to mind. Fire tenders, Ambulances and Police cars racing to an emergency scene with lights flashing and sirens screaming or boats crashing through the waves as Coast Guards rush to help sailors in trouble. But there are also other agencies working hard to keep us all safe by providing support and backup to the Emergency Services both in crisis situations and at scheduled events. Search and rescue, first-aid, event co-ordination, training and support are just some of the functions provided – often by organisations staffed by dedicated volunteers. For these groups, efficient and reliable communications are crucial and two-way radios offer a dedicated system to keep agency workers connected. Today, many agencies are considering updating their existing two way radio systems. Why?
A recent example is Paris Civil Protection in France. They decided they needed to replace their old analogue radios. They needed better coverage, clearer audio, higher capacity and greater functionality and selected a new MOTOTRBO system from Motorola as the ideal solution to help support their vital efforts.
Why did they move from analogue?
“With more than 500 volunteers and staff, 68 vehicles and 17 boats, we have grown significantly since our formation in 1997. We conduct numerous operations every week and provide essential support to both the ambulance service and the fire brigade. Clear communications are obviously essential during call-outs and, to meet the growing needs of our teams, we decided to upgrade from our analogue network to a multi-channel digital network. We chose MOTOTRBO because of its proven track record in the public safety domain. And we have not been disappointed. Users love the new system. The improved coverage, the added channel capacity and increased functionality make their jobs easier. The system has exceeded our expectations.” says Yann Di-Giorgio, Transmissions and IT systems consultant, Paris Civil Protection
Sean Fitzgerald is Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing EMEA.
Sean is on LinkedIn at uk.linkedin.com/pub/sean-fitzgerald/1/705/4a0
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