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Imagery gives Police a bird's eye view

02 September 2008

Lincolnshire is one of the largest and fastest growing rural counties in the UK, presenting the Police with a range of unique challenges and opportunities to serve the population. The latest high-resolution aerial photography is set to assist Lincolnshire Police in the fight against crime and their response to major incidents.

Lincolnshire Police gets a bird's eye view with aerial imagery
Lincolnshire Police gets a bird's eye view with aerial imagery

The Lincolnshire Force has taken delivery of a countywide GeoPerspectives aerial photomap, supplied by Bluesky. The photography is already being accessed by some users of the Force’s Intranet and work is also underway to integrate the photomap as a data layer within their geographical information system (GIS) so that the aerial photography can be viewed within the Force Command and Control System.

The Bluesky imagery is already being used within some Operational Orders and Contingency Plans, providing additional intelligence for the management of a wide range of incidents. Some users of Lincolnshire Police Force’s Intranet can currently access the photography at the desktop and it is intended that this capability will soon be made available to call takers and controllers within the Force.

Communications and Control Centre, enabling them to better identify and visualise locations as they are described to them by callers. This same facility will also be made available to help incident commanders manage their response when remote from the incident.

“'Aerial photography gives us important intelligence for managing the response to incidents and investigating incident scenes,” commented Ian Watkins, Emergency Planning Officer for Lincolnshire Police. “Although it is early days of implementation within our command and control operations, we feel it will be a great asset in ensuring we can optimise resources and provide a fast and effective response.”

Additional intelligence extracted from the Bluesky aerial photography is already being used within Operational Orders and Contingency Plans for a wide variety of incidents. Site or area specific images can be used, in printed format by deployed staff or electronically as part of briefings, to give a more realistic view of what responding officers may be faced with when arriving at an incident and allowing unmapped features to be considered during the construction of plans.

Bluesky aerial photography will be introduced as a data layer within the Force’s GIS enabling images to be viewed instead of, or simultaneously with, normal map data within NSPIS Command and Control System. “It is not always possible to obtain aerial views of an ongoing incident scene,” continued Watkins. “Weather conditions, lack of helicopter resources or risk issues are common so this data will become an invaluable resource.”

GeoPerspectives aerial photomap will prove invaluable for Lincolnshire Police, helping them to respond to a wider range of incidences more effectively, and helping them deal with the growing population and consequent rising crime rates better.

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