Cinos Helps UK Police Forces Move Towards A Digital Future
Author : Richard Evans    Time : 2023-08-01    Source :

As the need for better collaboration within police departments increases, many forces are looking at their communication systems to enhance operations and improve response times. Whether it is communicating within your own force, neighbouring forces or with the public, it’s important that systems are always available, secure, and offer the flexibility needed for modern policing to move towards a digital future.

As law enforcement agencies embrace digital transformation, one of the challenges that has arisen concerns how best to adopt new technology. Part of that process often involves a move to the cloud, without compromising on the reliability, security and level of service offered to the public. With the advent of digital technologies, voice communication has evolved to become more than just traditional radio communication. Modern unified communications (UC) solutions, such as cloud-based voice platforms, enable police officers to communicate securely and efficiently across multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets.

The reliability and consistency of unified communications

One of the key benefits of modern unified communication platforms is the ability to integrate with other communication channels. Systems need to bring together older legacy technologies that forces have relied on for many years and continue to do so, such as radio and analogue telephony, with modern digitised UC and video conferencing, instant messaging or business communications platforms. Systems must enable police officers to communicate more effectively and quickly share information. By having access to all these communication channels in one place, officers can quickly and easily share information and coordinate their efforts in real-time, which is of the upmost importance during emergencies and critical situations.

Police forces require a reliable and secure communication infrastructure to coordinate activities and ensure public safety. This means the platforms on which these systems are based must be designed to support the mission-critical nature and the need for security and compliance at the heart of policing. Cinos operates our own highly-secure Cinos Cloud platform for just this purpose, hosted from UK-sovereign geo-redundant data centres which meet all 14 NCSC cloud security principles, natively supporting Government Security Classification (GSC) OFFICIAL and OFFICAL-SENSITIVE and have achieved the Police-Assured Secure Facilities (PASF) accreditation. Cinos Cloud is designed to provide the always-on critical communications needed for policing, with tiered resiliency built into the architecture to ensure there is no reliance on any single device, service, connection, or location.

UC when applied correctly in UK policing can help forces save time and resources. Officers can communicate with each other without the need for physical meetings or long-distance travel, which can be particularly useful in remote or dispersed regions. Additionally, UC solutions can streamline administrative processes, such as filling out paperwork and filing reports, which can free up officers to focus on other tasks and improve the efficiency of police operations.

Enhancing engagement with the public

Police forces in the UK are also looking to improve their engagement with the public. In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards using omnichannel contact centres to provide citizens with a seamless and consistent experience across multiple channels including email, social media, chat, and voice. Cinos Cloud includes a full omnichannel contact centre service for our customers, allowing the public to make contact on the media channel they want, including AI-powered self-serve capabilities with seamless escalation to human agents. Integration with Incident and Control Communications System (ICCS) platforms, used to manage emergency communications, dispatching resources, and coordinating responses to critical incidents, brings faster and more efficient response times, improved collaboration, and enhanced public safety.

These self-serve capabilities can help reduce the load on 101 call handlers by providing links via webchat or SMS to report issues such as noise complaints, give the latest advice on a major incident or event, and field some basic information requests, which will reduce the number of interactions with a live call agent. This can help reduce wait times on the 101 service whilst still providing the required level of assistance to the public. By adopting omnichannel contact centres, police forces can ensure that citizens receive prompt and efficient responses to their queries or requests, regardless of the communication channel they use. This approach enables police forces to engage more effectively, provide better service, and improve the overall perception of the police in the community.

Furthermore, Cinos’ suite of analytic tools can help police forces to gain insights into citizen interactions and identify areas for improvement, and to track and analyse citizen feedback across different channels, providing valuable insights into citizen needs, preferences, and expectations.

Redundancy is key

Reliability of a telephony system for emergency services is of upmost importance. The 999 contact centre should be capable of receiving phone calls from the public in the event of a local power outage or network interruptions. To that end, the Cinos Telephony service has a number of redundancy options available to provide a service in line with the Public Emergency Call Services (PECS) code of practice around multiple methods of receiving the call from the 999 contact centre, but also the ability to provide local resilience to the phones on the agents desk, and if required a backup analogue platform that can be utilised in the event of a total loss of network and power to the centre. Additional benefits of the service include the ability for agents to receive calls from anywhere, so a temporary move of the service centre staff to another location adds to the resilience options for the service and gives Police Forces the flexibility to spread service centre staff across multiple locations based on operational objectives or if or if the need arises for social distancing.

Tailored solutions to help citizens during a crisis

Cinos have also deployed platforms on top of the Unified Communications platforms discussed, which take the voice, video and contact centre service provided by the Cinos Cloud, and tailor the end to end journey to assist with a number of specific use cases within the Police. One example of this is to assist with Domestic Abuse victims where the communications platform can be masked as another service and leave no footprint of communication with the police on their device, giving the victim the capability to hold confidential contact with the Police. Another example includes an application wrapped around conference calling, live streaming, and group collaboration to provide a service to a nationwide negotiator service. This application allows officers to work together on a case whilst still only presenting one officer to the person in crisis.

Communication and collaboration systems are essential building blocks for any successful police force. Their platforms must be robust and uninterruptible to enhance operations, improve processes, and make communication with the public more transparent. A reliable telephony system combined with seamless contact centre infrastructure are key requirements for enhancing operational efficiencies and enabling police forces to effectively serve the public.

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