STORM Command and Control gives officers the information they need, when they need it

Essex Police 

Giving officers the information they need, when they need it to tackle crime and protect local citizens.

Challenge summary

Essex was looking for a technology partner trusted to provide reliable, resilient, 24x7 solutions and to demonstrate the flexibility to change over time and adapt to new policing initiatives.

Key points

  • Essex Police and Sopra Steria in partnership for over 20 years
  • STORM command and control system tailored to Essex Police requirements
  • WebSTORM gives officers access to incident information from any PC
  • Mobile working facilitated by MobileSTORM software on 3,000 mobile devices
  • Underpinning its strategic objectives and supporting key regional and national policing initiatives

The challenge

Essex Police has an outstanding reputation for its technology-enabled policing. Its commitment to citizen and community focus drives the force to deliver the best service at every point of contact and its chief officers have set high standards for the 3,600 police officers and 2,200 civilian staff under their command.

Within this environment Essex Police aims to help shape the future agenda of policing. Its mission critical systems, such as command and control, will play a major part in this and are a long-term investment. As such Essex needs a technology partner trusted to provide reliable, resilient, 24x7 solutions and to demonstrate the flexibility to change over time and adapt to new policing initiatives. Sopra Steria is that partner.

Our solution

STORM allows control room operators to deploy resources quickly and effectively. It gives them any relevant information associated with an incident, such as previous history, and presents it in a way they can readily assimilate. Control Room staff can make rapid deployment decisions and, where necessary, pass information to those attending the incident.

Integration with key policing applications is one of STORM’s strengths. Control room staff have a single interface to access information from a variety of sources. They can simply copy information into incident records, saving time and reducing mis-keyed data. Integration with mapping software gives the control room a visual representation of where officers are currently working, speeding up resourcing decisions. Officers also no longer need to call Control Room staff to update their location; this is done automatically through the Automatic Resource Location System (ARLS).

Additionally, the rollout of webSTORM has enabled officers to access incident information from any PC. And now, Essex Police has taken STORM to a new level by extending its use to accommodate mobile working.

The MobileSTORM software has been provided to 3,000 mobile devices, enabling officers to spend more time in their communities by giving them remote access to information and allowing them to submit reports while out on the streets.

How we work together

Sopra Steria has been working with Essex Police for more than 20 years and continues to build on the high levels of trust, service excellence and technical innovation that characterise this partnership. It is a continually evolving relationship that has extended from the provision of a centralised command and control room solution and crime recording applications development, through to the introduction of mobile working.

Essex Police Head of IT Brian Jaggs comments: “Our experience of working with Sopra Steria has greatly influenced our strategic thinking in that I have no doubt long-term partnerships are the way ahead. They allow trust to build up between client and supplier – something that doesn’t happen overnight. They have achieved that trust with a remarkable level of continuity.

Our partnership with Essex gained significant recognition in 2005 with the announcement of a pioneering project to deliver a Cross-Border Data Exchange system. This allows the force to electronically transfer incident data from its STORM command and control application to other UK forces. Staff within the Force Information Room (FIR) use the application to transmit the data to neighbouring forces via the dedicated police secure communications network. This was the first of its kind in the UK police command and control market and was a significant step towards joined-up policing. As Brian notes, crime doesn't stop at the county border, neither should the police effort to prevent it. He says: “We now we have access to cross boundary information. It’s a significant asset to building partnerships with other forces.

Results and benefits

The Essex Police IT function and Sopra Steria work in a highly collaborative fashion. The benefits of working with us go beyond simply the technology. While cross border collaboration has become a reality and mobile policing is helping the Essex force meet its commitment to improving the timeliness and quality of its response to calls for assistance, it is our proactive approach to managing change that impresses just as much: “We often don’t have to tell Sopra Steria about new functionality requirements; they know us so well that they’re one step ahead,” comments Brian. “We are still on our technology-enabled policing journey and are working with partners like Sopra Steria to maximise the advantages that technology provides. I can assure you that there’s more to come.”

Client view

“This is hugely valuable as a deterrent – the more visible our officers are out in the community, the less likely it is that a crime will be committed. Sopra Steria is helping us put relevant and timely information in the hands of our officers out in the community. Their technology is playing a vital role in our fight against crime.” Brian Jaggs, Head of IT.