Wireless Ambient Audio for Mission Critical Recording.
Weston Digital Technologies’ Ambient Recording Solution™ Provides Flexible Recording Capabilities to Humberside Police Force

Overview

In mission critical environments such as command and control, not all communication happens over the telephone or radio systems. As a result, implementing best practice increasingly means capturing elements of communication that have not traditionally been recorded. Humberside Police Force, which serves a population of over 1.14 million people, was looking to implement an ambient recording solution for its highly demanding, fast-paced, and dynamic workplace. U.K. Government guidelines dictated that the solution must allow the police to securely record and store command and control communications when managing serious incidents — including the verbalised decision- making processes of individual senior officers.

Challenge

With a Command and Control environment spread over multiple areas, the audio capture system at Humberside Police needed to provide seamless multi-zone recording capabilities. It would have to allow Force Duty Officers to move freely from room to room without causing audio drop-out in recordings and without adding physical obstructions to the office space. Since staff members would be working during pressurised and volatile situations, the technology should be operationally transparent so as not to hinder workflow processes. It should be robust, dependable and consistently produce recordings of an evidential-grade quality. In compliance with government guidelines to ensure that sensitive conversations remained secure, an additional requirement was that transmitted wireless signals should be fully encrypted and impenetrable to third-party eavesdroppers, as well as being impervious to GSM and TETRA interferance. Furthermore, the solution needed to support continuous talk times - ensuring that the recording of communications could continue uninterrupted - and have the ability to integrate with the existing Symphony Call Recording™ system in order to round-off the force’s Voice Recording and Incident Reconstruction solution.


“We created a communication and recording solution that is secure, efficient and extremely easy for officers to use. Our wireless recording solution allows the Force Duty Officers to focus on managing incidents without having to worry about meeting their compliance obligations"

Solution & Results


Humberside Police Force turned to Weston Digital Technologies - a company with over twenty years of experience in the communications recording industry - to deliver an audio capture system that could meet their demanding brief. In order to provide wireless recording capabilities to the solution, Weston Digital Technologies integrated Revolabs’ Executive HD™ wireless microphone system.


Featuring wireless flexibility, unrivalled sound quality, and robust security, the system operates ouside the UHF spectrum and so is impervious to GSM and TETRA interferance. The wireless microphone system has been designed and tested to bring unparalleled audio capture to demanding, mission-critical environments such as law enforcement. The wireless microphone system was fully integrated with Weston’s Symphony Call Recording™ system that was already in place at Humberside Police and in addition Weston Digital Technologies developed a software component to allow for automated control of the recording process using events sent by the microphones.

Symphony continuously monitors each microphone and automatically triggers a recording when a microphone is lifted from the charging stand - so operation is seamless and simple. In addition, Symphony provides independent visual verification of each microphone's status via an illuminated 'Mic Live' sign and all microphone activity is comprehensively audited. To keep the force’s conversations secure, the microphones bring the robustness of AES-256 encryption while allowing up to 20 hours of talk time and 72 standby hours, even with receivers up to 300 feet away. Weston Digital Technologies’ Symphony Ambient Recording™ system provides Humberside Police Force with a complete end-to-end solution for recording ambient audio across their entire Command and Control environment.

Derek Townsend, Managing Director at Weston Digital Technologies explains:
“Using Revolabs’ Executive Elite wireless microphones, we created a solution that is secure, efficient, and extremely easy for officers to use. Recordings start automatically once the microphones are lifted from their charging station and subsequently stop once they are replaced. The charging station also removes the need for users to carry bulky battery packs that can reduce mobility and comfort. Overall, the integration of the HD mics with our Symphony Ambient Recording solution allows officers to manage incidents without worrying about any audio recording elements, and our client is extremely impressed with the results.”


To integrate the Executive HD mics, Weston used the Executive HD’s serial control processor, which allows external systems to monitor and control the Executive HD system via an RS232 or IP interface. As a result, Weston Digital Technologies was able to develop a software component that allows communication between the serial control processor and the Symphony platform.

“The wireless Ambient Recording solution allows senior police officers to focus on managing incidents without having to worry about recording mission-critical management conversations or meeting their compliance obligations,” said Dave Christison, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Humberside Police.


“With the microphones attaching directly to clothing or lanyards, officers are able to move freely between control rooms without dropping recordings, whilst the 128-bit encryption ensures that all our communications remain fully secure, providing crucial protection for our transmissions. The transparency of the system is also a true measure of its success. We’ve now eliminated unnecessary and time-consuming processes and streamlined our workflow, which greatly minimizes the possibility of user error. We are extremely pleased with the outcome — our incident management communications are now clearly and securely recorded without adding any complexity for our staff members or to the surrounding office space.”


Features and Bennefits

  • Flexible Microphone Support
    • Support is offered for both fixed and wireless microphones
    • Microphone types can be mixed for hybrid setups
  • Configurable Recording Triggers
    • An optional key switch can be used to control recording start/stop for fixed microphones. Audio levels and scheduled events may also be configured to start/stop the recording process
    • Wireless microphones start recording when removed from their charging cradle
  • Visual Feedback
    • An optional illuminated sign may be used to visually communicate the recording status of each microphone
    • Additional information such as microphone battery level status and out-of-range status may also be indicated by the illuminated sign
  • Advanced Event Reconstruction
    • Enables scenario reconstruction that includes ambient audio recording synchronised with CCTV, telephony and radio
    • Provides the ability to capture very powerful evidential material
  • Seamless Integration
    • Integrates fully with other Symphony modules such as Personal Assistant and Symphony CCTV recording
  • Backed by Our Market-Leading Support Capability
    • Ensures a smooth, tailored and hassle-free implementation
    • Provides access to the highest quality training and customer support