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News shots …. 28 July 2016



West Mercia and Warwickshire police deal with Saab

Two Midlands police forces have been signed up for a unified control room and mobile data solution for mission-critical operations. The crime commissioners for West Mercia and Warwickshire have signed a six-year deal with Swedish defence and civil security company Saab to replace their legacy systems with its SAFE platform.

The contract has drawn on a previous framework deal with Cheshire Constabulary, and delivery of the platform is scheduled for the current financial year.

SAFE has a multi-role capability and workflow-driven user interface, and will be used extensively through both forces, including for 999 and 101 calls.

It will also support the two forces in transitioning from the Airwave to the new Emergency Services Network.


LocalGov Digital launches Midlands group

LocalGov Digital, the group that created the Local Government Digital Service Standard, has set up a peer group for the Midlands, aimed at bringing together ideas on how to create services from the standard.

This follows the creation of a group for London that had its first meeting earlier this month. The Midlands group will be co-facilitated by Coventry City and Leicestershire County Councils and is due to hold its first meeting on 30 September. Registration details are here.

The group of local government digital practitioners has produced guidance for each point of the service standard.


Civica acquires SFW

Software company Civica UK has acquired government digital specialist SFW. The latter has been working with government customers including the Home Office, Environment Agency, and the Electoral Commission and, while based in Woking, has an offshore development centre in Vadodora, India.

Simon Downing, chairman of Civica, said: “At a time when the public sector is looking to modernise services and make savings through digital transformation, the skills and experience of SFW’s team are an excellent fit and extend our market leading digital services capability following the acquisitions of IPL and WTG.”


Bristol launches days out app

Bristol City Council has supported the development of a mobile app to help parents plan days out with their children around the city. Named Tiny Tours, it has been created by Blue Sparrow Apps as part of the council’s Open Data Challenge, which gave developers the chance to use an API for city information.

The app has two main filters: Places, for parks, free venues and what to do when it is raining; and Tours, which features ideas for days out. The latter displays the amount of time recommended for each attraction and gives a rough idea of costs.

Stephen Hilton, director of the Bristol Futures team, said: “It’s fantastic to see an idea become a prototype and then be transformed into a handy tool to help people in Bristol explore the city by public transport or by car. Tiny Tours is a great example of how bringing together digital talent with open data pioneers such as UrbanThings (which developed the API) can produce a brilliant resource that benefits our citizens.”


Image: iStock

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