Saturday, December 11, 2010

APRS could have helped protect Charles and Camilla

The Metropolitan Police are denying that the incident in which a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife came under attack by student demonstrators occurred through a failure in radio communications. Reports that royal protection officers were using a different frequency to those policing the protest are "untrue", the police insist. The two teams were in communication using email or mobile phones. They what?? Perhaps they had carrier pigeons as a backup.

It seems to me that someone needs to knock on the door of Scotland Yard and suggest that they need a tactical digital communications system on the lines of APRS. If the officers escorting the royal couple could have seen on a map display where the demonstrators were and exchanged brief tactical messages with other officers in the area, this embarrassing incident would never have happened. It makes you wonder just how competent our security forces really are.

7 comments:

Paul - PC4T said...

Hi Julian, I don't know why police do have such a insufficient communication system. In the Netherlands they have the P2000 system, a complete disaster. 73 Paul

VE3WDM said...

Good morning Julian, this past summer in Toronto I was involved in the G20 summit. I will say I was surprised that our communications system was outstanding. To add there was no mobile phone messaging or any of that sort of thing.

Ricardo - CT2GQV said...

They would never assume it was their own plain incompetence.... it must be always an external factor (the more complex, the better). Don't they just read the news, to know what's going on and what to expect?
APRS would not work since their radios didn't work anyhow :)

ab2tc said...

Maybe. But the problem with digital communications modes is that there are just too many different ones and no two departments seem to choose the same one. Seems we had much fewer communications snafus when everything was simple voice narrowband FM and the only variable was frequency.

Mark, PA5MW said...

Julian,

Can you have the automatic APRS beacon active, while simultaneously operating FM voice on the other VFO?

We have been doing some mountain walking in HB0 this summer and had to use two HT's; one for the APRS beaconing and one to voice contact the others. Would be nice if this can be done on one single HT.

Julian said...

Hi Mark.

Yes. Both the Yaesu VX-8 series and the new Kenwood TH-D72 can do exactly that.

NormfromAZ said...

Here in Maricopa County, the Sheriff's office has a "complete", my word division that is made up of Hams. They go through Law Enforcement training and are Law Enforcement Officers with all police powers. But more important than that, they are there for the Department in times of emergency and help to provide communications. I found your notes on what happen to the Prince, interesting, but it's not surprising, so many in those government jobs...know all the answers and don't leave the door open for help.