Avon & Somerset Constabulary

Company: Software AGCustomer: Avon & Somerset ConstabularySubmitted by: MCC InternationalDate: May 2002

The mission:

  • Avon and Somerset Constabulary had to be able to provide a website that delivers:
  • On-line police services
  • Improved public access to its services and information
  • Public information for residents

The solution:

Software AG’s Tamino XML Server provides the XML and XSL architecture required to support Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s website, providing daily updates to local residents from district level news to beat information.

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The result:

  • Multi-channel data/news feeds are seamlessly integrated into the website.
  • Up-to-date and accurate information is available on-line to the public.
  • Tamino XML Server provides the platform for efficient and accurate data transformation into XSL for ease of content editing.
  • The XML-based platform future proofs Avon and Somerset Constabulary for the dissemination of additional data through any medium.

The customer:

“As you can appreciate we have a lot of news and appeals that are important to disseminate to the public and the media alike.

We rely on the public to provide us with information to help us work with them to fight crime in the communities we serve. It is vital that we put out appeals and alerts as quickly and as timely as possible. Although we cover a lot of ‘high profile’ stories through our main website, the local news is just as important. This is where Tamino came in.”Scott Fulton, Internet Development Manager, Avon and Somerset Constabularywww.


Reaching the public on-line

In order to meet its objectives of targeting and reducing local crime and disorder problems, Avon and Somerset Constabulary (A&SC) has to deal speedily and effectively with young offenders, reduce re-offending, increase trust and confidence among community members and respond effectively to requests for advice and assistance. One way of addressing these issues is to use the A&SC website as the main resource for disseminating information to its local residents.The force’s website was first launched at the beginning of 2000. The first interactive service to be added was that of Crimestoppers, providing images and video clips of local crimes.

Today, the site has on-line forms that you can complete to speed up the process. Scott Fulton, Internet Development Manager, Avon and Somerset Constabulary comments, “This part of the website is extremely popular and has led to the successful resolution of a high number of local crimes.”

XML provides the route to the future

In September 2001, A&SC was invited to attend a Software AG presentation as part of the Somerset Online Project. A&SC was impressed with the Tamino XML Server and the solid references that Software AG provided, including other councils that were using the product. Development started at the end of the month and the new A&SC website was re-launched in February 2002.”As part of the Government’s Invest to Save initiative, we were able to apply for some additional budget to spend on the website,” explains Mr.

Fulton. “This meant we could progress our plans for a very dynamic site for the local community and the Tamino database from Software AG could help us fulfil our goal.”Tamino XML Server provides A&SC with a central repository for multi-channel data integration. Specifically designed to store information in native-XML format, Tamino has a huge advantage over relational database management systems, as no extra data conversion layer is required. By using the open architecture that Tamino provides, A&SC can build a strong foundation on which to develop an increasing number of interactive services via the website.

Local information is the key to on-line success

The Government’s Visibility Project is having an impact on the ways that constabularies are disseminating their information and how frequently they are updating it.

For A;SC, this is a good incentive to drill down to the local level and offer residents the information that is most useful and important to them. The Tamino XML Server plays a key role in this, housing all the data that the residents need access to, offering a fast and efficient service. Mr. Fulton explains:”There are three priorities in the Visibility Project. Firstly, we need to raise the awareness of policing at a local level. We have to work on reducing the fear of crime and also publicise what we are doing at a local level to reduce crime.

“The minimal requirement of the Government scheme is to offer an on-line document that is updated every six months. A;SC took the decision to provide daily or weekly updates on 300 beats across 28 sectors and 8 districts. One page is offered for each beat, which more than exceeds the requirements of the Visibility Project. Residents can search for beat information by entering their postcode, all of which are stored in the Tamino XML Server.Each Beat Manager sends the latest data to the A;SC Internet department, where their information is inputted into an XSL stylesheet, feeding straight into Tamino and live to the public in a matter of minutes. “This is a key benefit of the website,” adds Mr.

Fulton, “as it is providing local information to people’s doorsteps in real-time. This helps us to send our communities vital and important information which will help us to tackle crime in their area.”

Looking to the future

Keeping local information at the fore of website developments, A;SC is keen to link Tamino with GIS Mapping in order to provide on-line maps and directions for local police stations. There are also plans to make the Internet a valuable resource for residents to contact Beat Managers, so the level of interaction becomes even more personal. Tamino will hold all the email addresses for the Beat Managers and enquiries will come via the website as forms, directed to the appropriate Beat Manager by using the postcode of the resident taken from their form.

Mr. Fulton concludes, “The XML standards that we are using for the site open up countless opportunities for us in the future. We will eventually want to offer information through WAP, SMS and Digital TV, all of which can be achieved with Tamino. Software AG has enabled us to build our site with the future in mind, which makes it a very sound investment for us.”