Leicestershire police choose Sennheiser for UK’s first wireless 999 centre

Leicestershire Police image 1Sennheiser, a global leader in premium headset and UC solutions, has been chosen by Leicestershire police to provide hardware for the UK’s first wireless 999 centre, which will now use its DW series of wireless headsets following a continuing review and improvement process to upgrade mission critical equipment.

The DW series was recommended by Sennheiser to fulfil a stringent set of requirements that included all-day comfort and durability, exceptional clarity and reliability, the ability to allow workers to ‘hot-desk’ from any PC workstation and a future-proof solution in the event that the force moves to a PC-based softphone system.

With a 180m line of site range and fast charging that offers 12 hours of talk time from a full one-hour charge, and three hours from just 10 minutes, the DW headset also offers effective hot-desking due to easy pairing with base stations, which also allows a command team to link in immediately to any call. Up to four DW headsets can connect to one base unit, allowing instructors to train up to three operators at a time without trailing wires and complications, and ultra-noise-cancelling microphone together with patented ActiveGard technology ensures calls remain clear at all times, while protecting operators from unsafe audio levels that may occur in malicious calls.

Following a three-month trial where the DW Series was used during live 999 calls, Sennheiser supplied a total of 420 DW headsets and 120 base units to the Leicestershire police, who chose the double-sided variant as the most appropriate for its operators.

“The DW series met the requirements but we had to be certain that a wireless headset solution would be completely reliable,” said Jane Timms, Purchasing Manager at Leicestershire Police. “In a situation where a caller is reporting an on going emergency with life or death consequences, we cannot have a communications failure. The trial ran perfectly and overcame our initial reservations so we went ahead with the order.”

The DW series has proven so successful that additional units have also been acquired for the Leicestershire police mobile video van. Here, mobility was a key advantage, alongside the impressive degree of clarity and protection delivered by the ultra-noise-cancelling microphone and ActiveGard.

“The DW series allows the video van operators to move about inside the vehicle, which is a real advantage,” said Jane. “It’s a great reassurance to know that the hearing of our operators is protected against acoustic shocks, and the noise-cancelling is a definite benefit to our operators because it allows the caller to hear them clearly without the need for repetition, which is vital in any emergency situation.”

The benefits of the DW series mean that through improved training efficiency the Leicestershire police anticipate a return on investment in the near future, highlighting the importance of choosing the right headset solution. “DW series wireless headsets have worked seamlessly. They have improved flexibility and above all proved to be been completely reliable in a mission-critical 999 emergency centre,” Jane concludes.