The UK Home Office, West Midlands Police and Airwave have produced a compact, user-friendly guide for mutual aid police officers to use as a quick reference on radio procedure before, during and after an event
“The guide is there to reinforce the radio usage guidelines to the mutual aid police officers on duty,” said Geoff Lowe, Airwave interoperability and fleetmapping manager, Home Office.
Police officers undergo comprehensive training on how to use the Airwave Service, and this quick-reference guide provides additional support on key procedures for mutual aid, such as radio discipline, changing talk groups and emergency button usage.
The guide was finalised with input from the National Police User Group (PUG) and used for the first time by mutual aid police officers working with West Midlands Police at a planned civil demonstration in July in the centre of Birmingham.
“An additional 1,000 police officers were brought in to the city centre for the demonstration. Previously, officers would have been given their verbal briefing ahead of being dispatched to the event. Now the briefing is accompanied with the distribution of the guide, which means that they have a quick reference tool,” said John Blakeman, Airwave team manager, West Midlands Police.
A post-event review has highlighted that there was a significant decrease in the number of officers identified to be using the incorrect talk group. This can be attributed to the successful implementation of the guide.
“This means that there is more capacity available for the important and vital messages to be passed through to officers and the control room,” concluded Blakeman.