Hertfordshire Police serve an area of 632 square miles, with a population of well over a million people and a wide range of demands on the force. To help the constabulary better serve their community the force wanted to create a connected vehicle network that would enable Police Officers to access real-time information at the point of need to enable faster and more informed decisions.The force selected the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet device to provide the computing power required for their solution. Westbase Technology, working with the Vauxhall specialist vehicles team and Panasonic ProServices, were brought in to provide a 4G connectivity solution.
The ChallengeReliable, secure connectivity which could easily integrate with existing technology, provide a best-in-class WiFi hotspot, and be able to withstand the tough vehicular environment.
The Westbase Solution+ Ruggedised Cradlepoint COR IBR600 router
+ Instant secure connectivity using cellular
+ Low profile antenna designed for vehicular application
+ Technical support and consultancy from Westbase to optimise connectivity
+ Easy installation as part of the vehicle’s upgrade or manufacturing process
The Results+ Fast and reliable connectivity in and around the police cars
+ Vehicles now “mobile police stations”, providing access to command and control systems for database checks, as well as access to desktop applications on the road
+ Officers able to spend an extra 2 hours a day in the community
+ Improved crime intelligence and arrest rates
+ Specialist technologies deployed
+ 180 police vehicles equipped to date
After capturing the scope of the project’s requirements, Westbase were able to provide guidance on the best router and connectivity options to support the varied applications used by the force. Working closely with the teams at both Vauxhall and Panasonic, a high-performance vehicle networking solution was specified and field tested, before then being approved and deployed to the forces’ vehicles.
“When considering connectivity options for Hertfordshire Constabulary’s vehicles, Cradlepoint’s COR IBR600 was the obvious choice,” said Sacha Kakad, Managing Director of Westbase, “It integrates easily, has class-leading WiFi, offers persistent 4G connectivity, and is semi-ruggedised – meaning it can withstand the conditions of a vehicular environment while still providing reliable high-speed connectivity.”
After selecting the COR IBR600, Westbase proceeded to identify the best antenna to accompany the product – for which a low profile option, designed specifically for vehicular application, was selected. It was essential that the antenna supported all of the features of the Cradlepoint router; MIMO LTE, MIMO Wi-Fi, and GPS. Westbase then provided workshops and practical guidance to Vauxhall on router and antenna positioning within the cars, so that the quality of connection would be optimised.
The pre-configured Cradlepoint IBR600 and antenna combination were installed by Vauxhall at their Millbrook facility as part of the police vehicle’s upgrade or manufacturing process. This enabled a streamlined work flow and optimised setup ready for the Hertfordshire Police to use.
The Panasonic Toughpad and COR IBR600 combo was rolled out to a 10 car trial initially, and delivered exciting results. So impressive was the trial that it caught the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May. Since this initial trial a further 170 vehicles have been kitted out with the Toughpad and COR IBR600 devices – revolutionising policing in the Hertfordshire Constabulary.
“Officers are telling us that this is the best piece of technology for policing in the past 10 years,” said Detective Chief Inspector Damien Kennedy, the project manager for mobile data.*
Connected cars continuedSince the initial Hertfordshire Police connected car roll out, several other police forces have also trialled the technology to great success.
“Having witnessed the positive impact of the connected cars on policing capabilities, and been a part of that with Hertfordshire Constabulary, Panasonic and Vauxhall, Westbase is proud to supply the connectivity products which make this possible,” said Kakad, Managing Director of Westbase.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing the business and community benefits of these devices. They improve our access to information, which improves our crime intelligence and arrest rates. They also make our officers more visible by enabling them to be in the community for more of the time.
The Toughpad and related technology are enabling us to help the community and prevent and detect crime in ways that have never been possible before.”
– Detective Chief Inspector Damien Kennedy, the project manager for mobile data.
* Quotations courtesy of the Panasonic Toughpad Case Study.