STORM command and control improves Incident management

Kent Police 

Responding faster by taking an innovative partnership-based approach to preventative policing.

Challenge summary

Kent Police needed a command and control system that could direct resources quickly, accurately and effectively.

Key points

  • Protecting the interests of some 1.6 million people across an area of 1,442 square miles
  • Implementation of STORM command and control system
  • Partnership approach to implementing change
  • Making vital information accessible to all relevant parties, quickly and in the most digestible format
  • All situations are attended by personnel with the necessary equipment and expertise

The challenge

Kent Police is one of the most progressive police forces in the UK. Protecting the interests of some 1.6 million people across an area of 1,442 square miles, the force has taken an innovative, partnership-based approach to preventative policing. The system relies on a network of specialised units operating centrally, to process information concerning any criminal activity in the region. This intelligence is then filtered through all relevant divisions within the force.

With an advanced policing network in place, Kent Police needed a command and control system with the ability to translate intelligence gained in the field and from the public into meaningful action. What’s more, with a citizenship spread over large distances, incorporating both urban and rural areas, this system would have to be able to direct resources quickly,

Our solution

Kent Police turned to Sopra Steria to install its STORM command and control system at the Force Contact and Control Centre in Maidstone. Designed to give greater clarity in incident handling situations, STORM effectively marries information consolidation and resource allocation in one user-friendly interface. This allows Control Room staff to instantly see what type of incident is unfolding, what resources are needed to deal with the situation and the best way to allocate these resources to resolve the incident.

The implementation of STORM included:

  • dual screen interface displaying all relevant data
  • tight integration with mapping GIS
  • interfaces with other forces, Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, Missing Persons system and national systems such as Police National Computer (PNC) and the National Firearms System
  • the ability to view skill sets, ensuring that all situations are attended by personnel with the necessary equipment and expertise
  • mobile capability delivered to vehicle mobile data terminals and BlackBerry devices

How we work together

The STORM system had to integrate seamlessly with Kent’s existing data networks. In turn, this interoperability had to extend to national police systems running over a national infrastructure. Furthermore, control room staff and other members of the force needed to be trained in how to use the STORM system effectively.

It was paramount, therefore, that a good working relationship – a partnership – was created between us and Kent Police. In this way problems could be predicted where possible, or circumnavigated and overcome where necessary – a concept that both parties bought into from the start.

Obviously, there needed to be a clear outline of how the project would develop, with deadlines in place to keep everyone pointing in the right direction. But, by the same token, life in any organisation is unpredictable, and these plans would need to adapt as situations changed. For example, as the go-live deadline neared, we were able to supply additional training resources to make up a shortfall, and ensure that go-live was able to progress as planned.

Results and benefits

STORM gives Kent Police the ability to manage and view all incidents, whether of a minor nature or a major disaster (a plane or rail crash, or terrorist attack, for example) with a greater degree of transparency. This means operatives can direct personnel and resources to a situation faster and more effectively.

The STORM system implemented at Kent Police has enabled the force to continue its pioneering approach to community policing, by allowing vital information to be accessible to all relevant parties, quickly and in the most digestible format.

With such knowledge at their fingertips, users can spot patterns that could otherwise be easily missed: does this address have a previous record of this kind of incident? What is the history of this particular vehicle? Has this individual come to the attention of the force before? In this way, situations are not only resolved faster and by the most appropriate personnel, but also with a greater likelihood of a long-term solution.

Client view

“We work in a 24/7 environment, which means that there is very little margin for error and STORM integrated seamlessly with the other data networks we use and the ease at which it can be updated means that it constantly meets the substantial demands which are placed upon it.” Dave Brooks, STORM Systems Manager.