This case study discusses the latest development of the information system used in the
Command and Control Room of a Police Force in the UK. Although the new system is extremely powerful it is plagued by fundamental operational issues. It highlights the importance of recognizing the needs of users and other operational conditions during the development of computer-based information systems.
The Command and Control Room is where crimes and disturbances are reported and all other requests for Police assistance are received. Contact are typically made in the form of 999 calls from the general public but other messages may be received in the form of email, SMS text messages and radio messages from Police Officers and other public services.
There are a number of staffs who work in the Command and Control Room and use the information system. Each member of staff is responsible for receiving all calls from a discrete area of the region that the Police Force covers.
Each person uses several pieces of hardware to operate the information system, shown below: Screen 1 (left) allows the operator to access multiple functions:
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
Audio Setup Function
Screen 2 (centre) also allows the operator to access multiple functions:
Database to recorded incident details (Date, Names etc)
Access to Intelligence Databases (known offenders, etc)
Staff Rotas including a list of all active Police Officers
Access to several databases containing general Force information
Screen 3 (right) provides access to one function:
Real-time map displaying Police Officer positions
Screen 1 and 3 are operated by touch. On Screen 1 for example, the operator touches the button labeled “Radio” to access the radio function.
All three screens use different fonts, font sizes and colour schemes. Although each screen is clear