Firstly, there were some concerns over coverage and clarity. The analogue network did not guarantee consistent coverage, and communications were not always clear.
However, the primary issue was security. Operating a crime partnership requires communications to be secure at all times, and the analogue network was not encrypted. Therefore, DPAC decided to make the switch to digital.
DPAC contacted local Hytera dealer Smye-Rumsby, who recommended Hytera radios. Each member was therefore supplied with one of Hytera’s latest models, the PD605. Repeaters were set up around Dover, Deal and Sandwich so that coverage could be assured across the whole area. The PD605 is a latest-generation two-way radio that helps organisations migrate from analogue to digital by providing both modes.
Importantly, the radio has advanced signalling and encryption for secure communications, and comes with features such as the emergency buttons, GPS and Man Down as standard.
Feedback has been that the radios are light and not cumbersome and that clarity has been greatly improved. Coverage has also improved, with less drop-out across the town.
Today, DPAC uses the Hytera radios to ensure its members are able to communicate with CCTV operators and alert other members of potential criminal activity. When a shoplifter enters a store, members use the radios to inform CCTV, who upload a photo to a Whatsapp group and a secure website.
DPAC has also assisted in finding missing persons, with members alerting CCTV operatives.
“We’re very pleased with the new radios. We have good transmission, noise cancellation and excellent coverage, but most importantly, our communications are encrypted which is hugely important to the organisation. We’re looking to extend DPAC out to further parts of the Dover area with confidence that we’ll be able to communicate safely and clearly, and help our members prevent crime.”
Karen Griffiths - DPAC