Police gets new communications system

A new communication system donated to the Greek Police (ELAS) by the British government is expected to go into operation in the next four to six months, Kathimerini understands.

Public Order Ministry officials told the newspaper that the new platform, manufactured by Cambridge-based Sepura PLC, is technologically superior to the previous system by the Siemens-SAIC consortium, acquired for the Athens 2004 Olympics. Authorities decided not to renew the 10-year Siemens-SAIC contract, which expired in July, after it was deemed too costly.

Sepura was selected by Lamas Pinto Consultants Corporation, which is based in New York. On top of being provided the 25-million-euro system – made available also with financial support from a group of unnamed Greek businessmen – ELAS will also get free maintenance for one year. An open competition will be held to select a maintenance and support provider after that period. No more details were made available about the deal, which came after month-long negotiations led by Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias and secretary-general Thanassis Andreoulakos.

The system will include dispatcher terminals installed in police control rooms together with gateways to provide connectivity to telephony systems.

British police recently provided ELAS with a wiretapping system, similar to the one used by Greece’s intelligence service and counter-terrorism unit.

In a related development, ELAS was in the coming days expected to announce a deal to buy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones. The drones will be used to monitor the country’s borders and curb illegal immigration.