Greater Manchester Police and BlackBerry® win national tech award

Inspector Darren Spurgeon, GMP’s Mobile Business Change Manager.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and BlackBerry® have been announced as winners of the Mobile Innovation of the Year award at this year’s National Technology Awards (NTA), for the force’s use of the BlackBerry® AtHoc® system.

The National Technology Awards – organised by National Technology News – are a celebration of the use of technology and its pioneers throughout the year.

AtHoc is a critical event management system whereby messages can be sent to staff mobile phones to make them aware of important updates while on the move. Designed as a multi-agency communication tool, GMP has been recognised for its innovation in rolling the system out to other areas of business.

A recent example involved location-based updates for beat officers, whereby police on patrol received details and pictures of wanted persons known to frequent their current location. This has led to examples whereby police have been able to visually identify wanted offenders within a short period of them having being declared as wanted.

GMP also used the system for regular updates to officers during lockdown; it was also an invaluable tool to facilitate speedy communication with homeworkers and those self-isolating during the pandemic.

Inspector Darren Spurgeon, GMP’s Mobile Business Change Manager, said, “This is a fantastic achievement, which is ultimately due to the quick and efficient way GMP officers and staff have adapted to using the system; from wellbeing alerts to resourcing notifications, so I’m delighted that this has been recognised. It’s something to be incredibly proud of.

“As part of crisis management, you need to have access to prompt and efficient communication channels, which enable an organisation to reach out to personnel at a moment’s notice; AtHoc has helped us to achieve this, and enabled us to better protect officers and members of staff in the process.”

Chris Ullah, Senior Enterprise Account Manager for AtHoc, said, “We are delighted to be recognised by the NTA for the work we have done with GMP and their partners. AtHoc is a comprehensive solution that can be deployed quickly to enable the most secure real-time two-way information exchange across organisations, their people and devices, so that leaders and frontline operatives can make informed and safety-critical decisions in times of crisis as well as general day to day activity.

“We look forward to our continued efforts with the blue light services and partner agencies in protecting the Greater Manchester public.”