APD launches first “Off the Shelf” Mobile Data Product for Police
APD gives officers rapid access to live data in the field, saving an hour a day
21st March, 2006 – Mobile information specialist, APD Communications, today launched the UK’s first off-the-shelf mobile data product for police forces. Based on proven technology, the product – Polaris – is a suite of mobile data applications that gives officers on patrol immediate two-way access to key information, without having to rely on voice communications with their control room or returning to police premises. As a result officers can save up to an hour a day; time which can be spent out on patrol. In addition, it enables faster incident response times and frees up control room resource and communication channels. Polaris is available now and includes free consultancy as part of its launch package.
Polaris provides remote, live access to national and force-wide systems including the Police National Computer (PNC), QuickAddress (QAS), MOT and driver insurance records and the force’s own intranet. This is the first time that these systems have been linked in real-time to a mobile interface. Also, Polaris offers incident management, secure text messaging and crime and management reporting applications.
The product has been designed to work over a narrowband connection, such as a TETRA network. Using Polaris, PNC vehicle checks take between 4 to 7 seconds to complete. Previously, these checks could take up to 15 minutes to complete, or may have not have been conducted at all if the voice channel was busy. The London Metropolitan Police Service, which is using a Polaris-based system, sends nearly 1 million mobile data transactions per day with no service degradation.
Polaris can be fully integrated with third party systems to include applications such as automatic number plate recognition, automatic vehicle location, GIS and satellite navigation. Polaris works with technology investments that forces have already made, supporting a wide range of networks, such as TETRA Airwave, GPRS and BT redcare Mobitex and a wide range of devices, including fixed in-vehicle touch-screen terminals and ruggedised tablet PCs. It is also designed to meet future changes in the structure of the UK police, which may require technologies from several forces to work together as one. To support the market requirements, APD has created a detailed roadmap for future Polaris developments.
David Lawford, Director of Public Safety explains: “At APD we believe in delivering user-driven technology. We looked very closely at results from research as well as customer feedback to deliver a speedy, simple to use, tried and tested product that can deliver key applications over virtually any network to virtually any device. Polaris comes with a high level of security and is very easy to train officers on. In fact training sessions for it take just a couple of hours. Our open standards approach means the product protects existing and future investments too. I firmly believe that this product will greatly accelerate the deployment of mobile data among UK police forces.”
As part of the Polaris launch, APD is offering all UK police forces a day’s free consultancy on their mobile data requirements. More information is available on: 0870 160 9090.