Headlines: September 29th, 1999

Discussions have reached the closing stages on a contract for BT to provide police with a national digital radio service. The cost will be between 1.5 to 2.0 billion pounds and it will be funded through the Public Finance Initiative. The planned facilities will be available for use by the other emergency services and this will open up the way for a greater joined up approach to accidents and other types of emergencies. Joint call centres for police, fire and ambulance services have already demonstrated financial and operational benefits from a joined up approach.The service will provide for the transmission of voice, data and text messages by radio. It will also give direct access to database information from radio terminals. The service will be piloted from April 2000 and is due to be implemented across England and Wales between 2003 and 2004.

Information provided by Horn Ltd, suppliers of specialist police information www.Horn.ltd.uk