Gwent Police first force to pilot innovative 999eye

Gwent Police has launched a two month pilot of a pioneering solution, designed to provide Force Control Room (FCR) operators with an accurate picture of an unfolding emergency.

999eye is a smartphone solution that allows members of the public calling 999 or 101 to either securely stream live footage or upload images of incidents into control rooms.

The first phase of the pilot focuses on emergency 999 calls, with FCR operators having the potential to use the tool to obtain the additional information from an incident. Phase two will include both 999 and 101 calls and will begin at the end of November.

Superintendent Ian Roberts, Head of Gwent Police FCR said: “It’s fantastic that Gwent Police is leading the way in piloting such an advanced piece of technology.

“In addition to transforming the way 999 calls are dealt with, 999eye will also provide crucial evidence to support ongoing investigations, bringing significant benefits to officers, 999 callers and members of the public.”

How it works

1. During a 999 or 101 call, with the caller’s permission, the FCR operator will send a text message to the caller’s smartphone containing a secure link.

2. Once clicked, a live stream is established that allows footage or images to be sent directly to the control room.

3. GPS coordinates are also captured by 999eye to help locate the exact location of an incident.

4. If the caller has low signal on their smartphone, photographs can be sent across the link instead.

5. The secure link can only be used once and no footage is stored on the caller’s smartphone.

Originally developed by West Midlands Fire Service and Capita for fire related incidents, the two month pilot by Gwent Police makes their force the first to use this initiative in the UK.

Chris Jones, CEO, PageOne, Capita, said: “This is a ground-breaking solution that is already delivering benefits to blue light services and the general public. We are very pleased that Gwent Police has decided to take advantage of this technology and we look forward to the results of its pilot. 

“999eye is simple and secure to use. It allows control room operators, who are under considerable time pressure to see the incident, helping them allocate the correct resources – in an emergency, saving time could save lives.

“The benefits that 999eye can bring to the police and other blue light services have already been recognised, with the solution winning a Product Innovation award at the BAPCO 2017 conference, for the product that has the greatest impact on public safety communications.”