Feeds

North Wales Police gets unified IP comms

Gives a whole new meaning to 'copper networking'

The essential guide to IT transformation

North Wales Police is going all-IP with a new network that'll put unified communications - including videoconferencing and IP telephony - into all 75 of its cop-shops.

Famed for its speeding-obsessed chief constable Richard Brunstrom - dubbed the "Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taleban" by The Sun - the force says it should save £100,000 a year on comms costs. In addition, videoconferencing will cut the time officers spend travelling to meetings - and prevent them speeding on the way there, one presumes.

The new converged network is coming via a managed service deal with Kingston Comms subsidiary Affiniti, which is replacing the existing WAN with point-to-point Ethernet Extension Services (EES) from BT. LANs at each site will enable stations to operate independently should there be a major WAN failure, and will also power the IP phones.

"We're migrating from Mitel to Cisco Call Managers and we have 10Mbit/s into every site, so we can even offer video in remote police stations," said Ian Davies, NWP's Projects and customer services manager. He added that it's only cost £80 a site to add videoconferencing capabilities, in the shape of a decent webcam.

"The force's Western Division is particularly challenging - it can be a two hour trip across Snowdonia if you have to go to court or present a case to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), and that's a huge cost in time," he continued.

He said that a videoconferencing pilot project there has reduced the weekly travel overhead by 30 hours, saving the force £34,000 and giving officers more time to spend in the community.

"Officers have to do a lot of work with the CPS prior to a case," he explained. "Or an Inspector may have 13 to 15 very dispersed stations and be able to use videoconferencing to brief the station sergeants each morning.

"Videoconferencing in the past was quite clunky, but this is as simple as ringing a four-digit extension number. The users say it just seems to make a conversation more real - it's deeper, like a virtual meeting."

He said that the force is also increasingly making use of IP desk-phones as terminals - key applications such as its duty and records management systems are XML-based, and along with email, they can be accessed on the phone's screen.

"We've got 2000 computers, they're hugely expensive to run, yet the average user only use five percent of a PC's capacity. They really only use four applications - email, the records management system, duty management and the briefing system."

One thing the network does not include is the force's many speed cameras. Its ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) system has its own comms infrastructure too.

Davies added that while there's no plans yet to put webcams in bobbies' helmets, they have been issued with BlackBerrys to give them mobile access to the records system.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.