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Scottish Police Authority Tendering for New Communications System

Ross Kelly


Police Scotland IT System

The new tender aims to provide a single integrated platform to standardise technology and process.

The Scottish Police Authority has announced that it is looking to contract a provider to implement and maintain a £4.6 million National Integrated Communication Control System (ICCS) for Police Scotland.

The SPA’s aim, outlined in Police Scotland’s Annual Police Plan for 2018/19, will allow the police service’s Contact, Command and Control (C3) division to help deliver high quality public engagement as part of the Policing 2026 strategy.

The policing strategy states it intends to bring “national consistency, coordination and specialist resources to address policing challenges.”

Integrated Communications

A single national ICCS platform for Police Scotland is acknowledged as being a critical component to” deliver functionality in a manner that offers the ability to quickly and easily deploy operator positions across generic locations” and also “offering improved flexibility in the management of both staff and technical resources.”

Through the ICCS platform it is claimed: “The system will provide critical operational communications functions, integrating the voice and data protocols between the force’s radio communications, telephony communications and Command and Control application for the management of frontline response policing.”

The tender describes C3 as a ‘mission critical’ operational area, and one that relies heavily on communications systems to deliver efficient and highly effective performance in regards to public engagement and the deployment of resources. To meet the needs of a changing police service, the tender suggests that a comprehensive integration of communications systems must occur.

This encompasses:

  • Airwave Radio Communications – the communications system currently used by police and rescue services
  • Emergency Services Network (ESN) – Airwave’s 4G-based successor programme through the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP)
  • Police Scotland’s Service Centre telephony platform
  • National Unified Communications, and
  • Command & Control applications

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Demonstrating Value

The contract is due to start in December 2018 and will run through to December 2023 with five optional annual extensions. The tender documents note, however, that potential bidders for the contract must have a minimum annual turnover of £8 million for the previous two financial years.

Additionally, if a bidder is a new company, it must present a comprehensive plan demonstrating how the organisation will meet annual turnover requirements in order to be considered.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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