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UK police use new HD video communications

By PoliceOne Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — A U.K. police force has chosen to utilize a new service for high definition video communications.

Thames Valley Police selected LifeSize Communications, based in Austin, Texas, to provide high definition video conference and telepresence solutions to connect its 16 police stations, improve force-wide operations and increase community security.

"LifeSize has really proven itself by expanding our ability to communicate with the right people at the right time," said Mick Walsh, systems and information supervisor for Thames Valley Police. "There has been lots of mileage saved and the uses for the technology continue to grow."

Thames Valley Police covers an area of more than 2200 square miles and a population of 2.1 million, and is one of the largest Home Office police forces in England. The force currently employs more than 8,000 people and is made up of 16 police stations split into five Basic Command Units — Oxfordshire, Berkshire West, Berkshire East, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.

With the large number of stations and staff, three to four daily briefings between locations is an absolute necessity to keep operations running smoothly. A limited video conferencing system was deployed nearly a decade earlier, but due to the poor video quality, choppy audio and overall unreliability, the systems went virtually unused. Thames Valley contacted local authorized reseller Quadrant Visual Solutions Ltd to demonstrate the LifeSize HD video conferencing solution.

Using high definition LifeSize systems, Thames Valley conducts routine operations briefings over video, plus numerous ad hoc meetings throughout the day. And through the use of the built-in H.239 data sharing capability, documents and evidence can be shown to a court official for a case involving an accused party being held at the police station, eliminating the need for high-risk, labor-intensive prisoner transfers.

A complete case study detailing the Thames Valley Police implementation of LifeSize high definition video conferencing equipment can be found at: http://www.lifesize.com/solutions/case_studies

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