Spirit launch for local police

PC Claire Goodridge shows PCC Matthew Ellis the new SPIRIT technology.

A new hi-tech system for police vehicles in Stafford and Stone should mean faster response times with the right specialist resources and capabilities attending.

For the first time ever, control room staff at Staffordshire Police will have real-time information on exactly where each police vehicle is, which officers are in the cars and the specific expertise and capabilities available – making sure officers with the right skills are sent to incidents faster. It will also minimise the times when police from miles away respond to an incident even though suitable resources are close by.

The roll-out of SPIRIT GPS technology is part of Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis’ technology revolution. A total of 176 Local Policing Team (LPT) vehicles – including those in Stafford borough LPT – have now been fitted with the SPIRIT system, which was developed by Northgate Public Services.

Mr Ellis said:

“We cannot expect Staffordshire Police to meet the ever increasing complexities and rising demand without the proper tools for the job.
“It should also reduce the times that multiple police resources turn up to the same incident even though they are not needed. The SPIRIT technology will see effective use of police time and resources and allow better co-ordination meaning quicker responses.
“Whilst technology isn’t the be all and end all for policing, intelligent investment in the right kit can increase capacity, improve response times and provide officers with data, information and processes whilst visible in communities instead of having to go back to police stations.”

The SPIRIT system arrives as the rollout of mobile devices to officers across Staffordshire gathers pace. Mobile data allows officers to take witness statements efficiently when out and about and access information, data and police systems without the need for them to return to police buildings. Armed response vehicles and police dog vehicles were due to be fitted with Spirit this January. Forensics, Investigative Services and other vehicles will get the technology as part of the rolling programme in 2016.

The 176 LPT vehicles fitted so far with the system include some non-response vehicles driven by PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) and detectives in the LPT areas.