Cheshire Constabulary to set up £140m comms IT framework

Cheshire Constabulary is planning to set up a communications technology framework worth approximately £140 million.


Cheshire Constabulary is planning to set up a communications technology framework worth approximately £140 million.

The successful bidder will be responsible for providing a ‘Force Communications Solution’ for up to 10 years.

The solution will comprise an integrated communication control system, an automatic call distributor, a command and control system, a customer information management system, voice and data recording, mapping and an automatic resource location system.

It will need to integrate with the emergency services network, a network that provides critical voice and broadband data services to the three emergency services (police, fire and ambulance).

A key requirement is for the solution to interface with existing systems such as the ‘Niche’ records management system, duty management software and possibly Tetra, a mobile radio and walkie talkie system used by police.

The contract will be open to various other UK police forces including Greater Manchester Police, Police Scotland, the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police.

It will follow a ‘restricted’ procurement procedure whereby interested suppliers are asked to fill out a questionnaire, a shortlist is drawn up and shortlisted firms are invited to tender.

At least five and at most eight suppliers will be shortlisted, according to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

The notice said that the supplier will ideally use commercial off-the-shelf and commodity software and hardware products wherever possible. It will need to provide integration services.

It added that the solution will need to be interoperable and “fit for purpose for at least 10 years after implementation” and deliver exceptional value for money.

It will also need to support the constabulary’s plans to facilitate non-traditional methods of public contact such as social media, video, web chat and web interaction.

Suppliers interested in participating in the procurement have until 19 December to submit tenders or requests.

Cheshire Constabulary has 3,600 officers and police staff and is responsible for an area of 946 square miles with a population of roughly one million.

The force’s 2013-16 IT strategy includes aims such as to provide more ‘user friendly’ IT systems, allow staff to be more mobile, increase public communication channels, share more information with local and national partners and reduce running costs.