Improved radio coverage, audio quality and functionality enhance on-site security and staff safety.
G4S is the world’s leading integrated security company, with a global turnover in excess of £20 billion. In the UK and Ireland alone, it employs 31,000 staff and offers a broad range of security services delivered on a single, multi-service or integrated basis, including Care & Justice services. Indeed, G4S has been active within the criminal justice sector in the UK since 1992, carrying out contracts for custodial and detention services, electronic monitoring, immigration & borders, and rehabilitation, resettlement and community services.
G4S operates HM Prison (HMP) Rye Hill on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. HMP Rye Hill is a Category B men’s private prison situated in the village of Willoughby, near Rugby in Warwickshire. It has exclusively housed sex offenders since 2014 and currently holds more than 650 sentenced male adults, 20 per cent of whom are serving life sentences.
Radiocoms Systems Ltd is a long-term partner of G4S in the UK and had recently successfully installed a MOTOTRBO system at a HMP Secure Training Centre operated by G4S. So, when G4S was looking to update its end-of-life analogue radio system installed at Rye Hill Prison, it asked Radiocoms to submit a proposal for a digital radio network.
G4S was looking for a future-proof, scalable system that would deliver excellent audio clarity and coverage, as well as extra functionality, such as the possibility to track radio users. The security of the system was also an important point, as well as the ability to remotely monitor, update and disable radios, if needed.
Following detailed meetings and site visits, and a successful competitive proposal, Radiocoms ran Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) in London, followed by an overnight installation at the prison to ensure no loss of service, and site acceptance tests (SAT) following deployment, staying at HMP Rye Hill until the new system was fully operational and users had received initial training.
“When we needed to update our end-of-life analogue network, Motorola Solutions and Radiocoms came highly recommended. We haven’t been disappointed.
Our radio network is business critical: apart from landline phones, it provides our sole form of communication in the prison.
So, it was essential that we deploy a completely reliable, future-proof, high-performance system. And this new Capacity Plus system
delivers everything it needs to, and more. Importantly, our teams like and trust the new system, so it gets used – heavily –
and, when we were going through a few teething issues, the support Radiocoms offered was second to none.”
All staff working on-site at the prison – from officers, to teaching, medical, ancillary care, facilities management and cleaning staff – use a MOTOTRBO DP4601e portable radio as the main form of communication and to raise alarms via the radio’s emergency button, if they need assistance. There is also a pool of radios for office-based staff, if they are working in the prison, and staff managing visiting times wear earpieces, to ensure network communications remain private and secure.
HMP Rye Hill currently communicates over four channels: one dedicated to facilities management and cleaning to communicate independently of the 24/7 control room, and three further channels for open system-wide communications for all operational staff, such as officers, healthcare teams (calling in health codes, for example) and duty managers. However, the system also facilitates private calls between radios, if required.
All calls are recorded using TRBOnet control room software for full traceability and training purposes, and HMP Rye Hill is starting to use more and more system functionality, such as messaging, which is particularly helpful when management need to rapidly send a sickness cover request to all staff, for example.
The teams are also starting to use some outdoor GPS positioning and may install interior beacons in the future, to enable indoor tracking.
The system has been set up with full redundancy, for both MOTOTRBO and TRBOnet, in case a server should encounter issues; however, this has been unnecessary to date. HMP Rye Hill can also temporarily or permanently disable any misplaced radios and, as part of its ongoing 24/7 support contract, Radiocoms uses MOTOTRBO Radio Management software to remotely program and update the fleet.
The MOTOTRBO Capacity Plus system is ultimately helping to increase security and worker safety at HMP Rye Hill. The reliability of the network is key, as it provides the main form of communication.
Connect with Simon Bingham.
The Radiocoms engineers are a PRINCE2® certified project management team and their experience shone
through when they were designing the system, which has ensured the coverage and audio quality are exceptional.
Clear audio quality and excellent coverage across the prison, which is essential
as the radio system provides the principal means of on-site communication.
Swift, overnight deployment, with no loss of service.
They have great confidence in the system, knowing they are fully
and ably supported by Radiocoms.
Resilient system with ongoing maintenance and service support
for a future-proof solution and good ROI.
Full encryption for secure communications for day-to-day operations and
during any emergencies, with option to disable missing radios.
Enhanced functionality including messaging, voice recording, central dispatch an
d exterior GPS tracking, to aid smooth operations and increase worker safety.
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