West Midlands Police has turned to Centrik to manage its complex drone programme, using the powerful operational management system to improve efficiency and help its officers “spend less time on administration and more time policing”.
The West Midlands Police drone programme – working closely with the National Police Air Service (NPAS) – provides 24/7 unmanned aerial support to an area of 348 square miles, home to more than 2.8 million people.
With the unit attending more than 2,000 incidents in 2020 alone, West Midlands Police needed a powerful, intuitive system capable of managing the complexities involved in operating 32 pilots and its unmanned aircraft as part of the second largest police force in the UK.
Sgt Keith Bennett, West Midlands Police, says: “When we expanded the drone programme in October 2019 to offer 24/7 support, it quickly became apparent that our existing systems and operational processes were cumbersome, inefficient and time consuming.
“Centrik has streamlined every process into a single, intuitive platform that has significantly improved operational efficiency – it has meant our officers can now spend less time on admin and more time on policing.”
Originally developed for civil aviation, Centrik is the only fully ICAO and CAA-compliant solution that also specifically caters to UAS operations. The system provides a complete, configurable solution, managing workflows, tasks, equipment and logbooks, simplifying internal and external audit processes, as well as tracking pilot training and currency records, among a myriad of additional functionality available to all departments within an organisation.
“The system’s CAA support is truly what sets it apart. To increase safety and ensure compliance we can instantly file occurrence reports directly to the CAA via our Centrik dashboard. The system has even been specifically adapted to cut out the extraneous manned aviation elements that used to make the process so time consuming,” adds Sgt Bennett.
Centrik’s modular architecture can be accessed from any connected device, either on or off line, allowing pilots and authorised users to manage pre-flight checks, conduct risk and safety assessments and reports, as well as instantly input detailed flight logs out in the field. The system also accurately tracks all aircraft flight-hours, ensuring important service and maintenance schedules are always met.
To ensure total transparency, West Midlands Police has granted the Policing Crime Commissioner (PCC) access to its Centrik system, which provides complete operational oversight and helps demonstrate compliance as part of any subsequent audit process. Centrik’s comprehensive analysis tools will also help to drive continuous improvements in performance and efficiency.
“We’ve had a first-class service from Centrik, with the entire team always available and ready to offer us support when needed; the system has genuinely revolutionised the way we operate,” concludes Sgt Bennett.