Police Radio Contact on the Underground

Meeting: 
MQT on 2002-05-22
Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Reference: 
2002/0261
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Is the Mayor aware that when Metropolitan Police Service officers enter Section 12 London Underground stations they are isolated from radio contact with their control centre?

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Answer

Answer for Police Radio Contact on the Underground

Answer for Police Radio Contact on the Underground

Answered By: 
The Mayor

To tackle crime effectively, we need to exploit technological tools to the full. In my budget for 2001/02, I provided resources for the modernisation of MPS information technology communications systems. This is to be continued in 2002/03. At present MPS officers cannot maintain radio contact if they go down to underground stations. I am told that in the case of major incidents e.g. fires etc, there are special systems that can be set up to allow interoperability between all emergency services. In the case of other incidents, police officers will call the control room whenever they are about to enter premises where it is known there is no radio reception. Either other MPS officers will come to their assistance or, in the case of the underground, contact will be made with British Transport Police.The implications of the problem are fully understood and a technical solution is thought feasible but the issue is one of funding. The MPS is about to embark upon discussions with the Police Information Technology Organisation and the Home Office to identify the best way forward.The need for IT communication systems to be compatible with each other is paramount to the safety of officers and reducing crime. Clearly the existing situation is unacceptable and warrants immediate action. I will continue to press the Home Secretary to speedily resolve this important matter. .