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It’s like a scene from Star Trek. A bank of TV screens, a wall of computer servers and some portable hi-tech cameras – the new Wiltshire Police Mobile Command Centre is an impressive sight when you first step inside.
The large white Mercedes vehicle is available to deploy to any major incident or emergency across Wiltshire and Swindon.
Clare Broom, Wiltshire Police Airwave Manager, has been overseeing its development and roll-out: “This new kit allows us to set up a ‘pop-up’ control room or police station at any major incident, such as a murder scene, the summer solstice and football matches. It’s ideal for a silver command.
“All the usual desktop functions can be accessed. If we are at a big public gathering or the mobile phone network is busy, we can switch to satellite to give us broadband. Also, the generator on the vehicle means we can be totally self-sufficient in any critical situation we happen to be at.
“Although it’s a complex piece of kit, it’s easy to operate – basically one switch to turn it on and away you go.”
The vehicle has two mobile cameras – one tripod which can be positioned up to a mile away, the other worn on the body. It can also link to the National Police Air Service helicopter. This means that anything the flight crew sees can be beamed to the vehicle as well as to the large screens in the Crime and Communications Centre at Police HQ in Devizes.