£1m fire and police command vehicle for Northamptonshire will allow monitoring of drone and helicopter footage

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A command vehicle for police and fire services in Northamptonshire will be the only one of its kind in the UK.

The new vehicle will provide a base for commanders at large-scale or major incidents from where they can monitor footage from body-worn cameras, drones and helicopters.

The tender for its construction has now been awarded to John Dennis Coachbuilders, Spectra Specialist Engineering Ltd and Excelerate Technology, who will build and equip the unit.

Work will be funded with a £990.000 grant awarded by the Government.

Supt Chris Hillery, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “The Joint Command Unit (JCU) will further enhance emergency service response and service collaboration here in Northamptonshire. I very much look forward to making use of this vehicle with NFRS at live incidents across the county.”

Its features will include:

-Joint working space for police and fire operations, including a command conference room

-Ability to receive and view footage from remote deployable static cameras, body worn cameras, an unmanned aerial system and the police helicopter.

-Built on a Scania 26 tonne capacity chassis measuring 10.5 metres long, 3.85 metres high and 2.5 metres wide in transit mode but doubling in size with double expanding sides.

-Networks compatible with the Emergency Services Network (ESN) - the next generation system that will support voice communications, data and video sharing across the emergency services.

Richard Hayes, of Spectra, which is a specialist coachbuilding company, said: “The vehicle is a ‘one-off’ and specifically designed for Northants as a joint command vehicle for fire and police.

“As far as I know there is no vehicle operating in the UK that has the same characteristics and operating capabilities as this one.”

It is expected that the vehicle will be completed and officially launched in September 2016.