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Enhancing Communications and Safety at the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is a public research university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey, in the south-east of England. The university specialises in science, engineering, medicine and business. Its Security Department has been working with two-way radio specialist Audiolink for over ten years and, together, they have just deployed a new MOTOTRBO™ radio system for clear, reliable communications for the security teams across its sites.

Enhancing Communications and Safety at the University of Surrey

The Challenge

Aware of the importance of optimal security and the safety of its students and staff, the University of Surrey wanted a radio network that could provide coverage across and between its three sites: its main campus and two halls of residence, one and three miles from the campus respectively. The university’s security teams work 24/7 and sometimes alone, so the Security Department wanted to upgrade to a digital network that could offer crystal-clear audio, as well as added functionality and important safety features for its personnel. The university followed Audiolink’s recommendation of a MOTOTRBO radio system from Motorola Solutions.

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The Solution

Audiolink deployed the new system, installing one SLR5500 repeater at each of the three locations and supplying training on the network and radios. Moreover, although the radios are protected by a Motorola Service From the Start package, Audiolink also provides ongoing support and maintenance, whether via its helpdesk or on-site.

To connect the system between its three sites, the university uses MOTOTRBO IP Site Connect running over its wireless networks; this wide area coverage means security guards can seamlessly communicate with other guards at the other sites and automatically roam from one coverage area to another, with no manual intervention.

Audiolink has also installed Estimote iBeacons in critical underground areas, such as plant rooms, where the GPS signal can be lost. However, it will soon deploy Estimote iBeacons across all areas, as the Security Department is using the radio, iBeacon and TRBOnet combination effectively as a guard tour; the guards no longer have to carry further devices to swipe locations to show they have visited them, as the iBeacons automatically log the patrols in real time. This information is immediately relayed on to TRBOnet, so removing the need for a separate patrol recording system. This radio tracking, together with TRBOnet mapping to ensure the closest guard can be dispatched to an incident, PTT, man down, individual and group calling and text messaging, all ensure guards are as safe as possible, the control room is immediately aware of any issues and any incidents are dealt with quickly and effectively.

The Results

The MOTOTRBO Capacity Plus system offers improved capacity and higher quality audio, and the robust, reliable hardware ensures the radio system is always working efficiently and optimally. User feedback has been excellent.

The added functionality, such as the ability to track a radio via GPS, lone worker and man down features, means the control room is notified immediately
when there is an issue. This improves response time to any incidents and increases health and safety for both staff and visitors. GPS is due to be rolled out to further handsets moving forward. Recording of communications and their playback with time stamps leads to easy post-event traceability to show
staff have responded appropriately. The park is also using these transmissions during staff training.

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 System Summary

  • The reliable radio network ensures crystal-clear communications across the three sites
  • The system also serves as a guard patrol recording solution
  • TRBOnet mapping and dispatch ensure fastest possible response to incidents
  • The lightweight, unobtrusive, easy-to-use, robust radios are perfectly suited to the mobile security environments
  • GPS, Man Down and Transmit Interrupt in case of emergency enhance guard safety
  • Communications recording and event logging ensures easy traceability post any incidents
  • Encrypted communications are important for enhanced security
  • Audiolink’s continuous support and maintenance ensures the system remains operational at all times

“The University of Surrey’s Security Department has been sourcing radios through Audiolink for over ten years. In that time our account and servicing requirements have been efficiently managed by Alistair McCardle.The Security Department relies on strong and efficient radio communication. We respond to medical incidents and fire alarms amongst other calls and need to be able to share information quickly and clearly. Alistair has helped us stay ahead of the game by ensuring we have the best available equipment within our budgetary requirements. We have the latest digital radios, boosters at our outlying campuses and TRBOnet, which enables our control room to manage resources by directing the closest resource to an incident through live-time mapping.Our latest move forward, at Alistair’s introduction, is the installation of iBeacons. These are placed strategically around our buildings and estate and record patrol attendance in real time, all visible to the controller on TRBOnet. This removes the need for a separate patrol recording system.Whenever we have experienced any reduction in service from any of our equipment, Alistair has deployed an immediate fix.” Deputy Head of Security, University of Surrey

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