ESN to support BWV by 2020
Emergency Services Network
The PR6 body camera was launched in Police Professional this week. PP is the largest circulation police journal available weekly on subscription and offers in-depth comment, opinion and analysis on all aspects of policing. The ad ran alongside a brief article on the Government's new Emergency Services Network that is set to replace the existing national radio network. Known as Airwave, the current system is not capable of carrying video and it is scheduled to be switched off in 2020. Airwave supports the three emergency services in the UK and supports over 30 adjacent public safety organisations. The emergency services mobile communications programme (ESMCP) is intended by the government to be a next generation integrated communications system capable of extensive coverage and advanced public safety functionality.
The main contracts were awarded (Motorola and EE) in December 2015 and the service is now in the mobilisation phase before beginning the transition from Airwave in 2017. Looking forward the service is of interest to body camera manufacturers as the government anticipates the ability for frontline responders to live-stream footage back to control rooms from cameras worn at incidents. It is hoped that the 4G network will provide comprehensive data coverage across the UK and the service providers have been required to offer a commitment to increased rural coverage, 98% buildings coverage by population and 90% geographical. The anticipated transition continues momentum in the drive towards digital policing with the associated benefits of efficiency and cost-saving. Body-worn camera technology and back office infrastructure is considered integral to this agenda. The latest press release from the government website can be found here. When announcing the Motorola and EE awards they said that the £1bn investment in the infrastructure is expected to save the taxpayer £1 million a day.
“The network offers the prospect of transforming how the emergency services work. For example, it could offer live video from body worn cameras transmitted from crime scenes; high definition images enabling hospital consultants to make remote diagnosis and treatment recommendations at accident sites; and sharing in real time 3D maps of buildings at fire scenes.”