Fleet News

Police trial sat-nav system

HAMPSHIRE Constabulary has become the first police force in the country to utilise an operator-controlled satellite navigation system.

The force has 950 vehicles covering more than 15 million miles a year, making it impossible for every officer to be familiar with every area they may be called to.

Now the constabulary is working with Trafficmaster and its Smartnav system to reduce police response times during a six-month trial period.

The system will be fitted into six specialist vehicles, including those used by the dog section, tactical firearms unit and force support units.

It features an in-car display with a one-touch button to contact Smartnav’s control room. The officer provides details of the address and the operator enters it into a central computer, which works out the best route and downloads it to the vehicle within seconds. Smartnav says the operator service eliminates the need to key in addresses or check maps, therefore saving time.

John Bradley, fleet manager at Hampshire Police, said: ‘This is an exciting proposition and it should significantly aid police officers in Hampshire who may be working within unfamiliar territories.

‘This will lower the chances of officers of getting lost and will thereby reduce the number of miles travelled by each vehicle.

‘It will consequently bring down a number of costs, including police time, fuel and unnecessary mileage.’

Gary Kirby, national sales manager at Trafficmaster, said: ‘The initial response to Smartnav has been encouraging and we now look forward to developing this programme further within the emergency services sector.’

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