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West Yorkshire Police

Video length: 3:35 minutes.

Europe | United Kingdom | Public Sector | Digital infrastructure

Transforming policing in a digital world

Using technology to optimise sporting events and policing- simultaneously

Download this case study (pdf, 119.54KB)
Real-time Analytics


West Yorkshire police needed a way to make the 490km route of the Tour de Yorkshire safer and more inclusive for spectators, the community, and riders alike

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Tranforming IT


Using cloud data analytics and tracking, the position of each police vehicle allowed for coordination across multiple police forces throughout the race

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Cloud Contact Centre


Collaboration between the first responders of the Tour de Yorkshire resulted in a safer and more interactive event with effective crowd control and police coordination

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Why is safety critical during the Tour de Yorkshire?

The Tour de Yorkshire is a three-day cycling race in the UK and attracts more than two million live spectators annually. The winding 490km-route presents potential dangers during a high-speed exciting race – for the riders and spectators.

This popular cycling race is televised in 178 countries, with over 11.4 million global viewers. The prime responsibility of the West Yorkshire Police is to ensure the safety of spectators and 18 teams of riders. Up to 200 police officers are deployed across multiple police forces that control a fleet of connected cars, motorbikes and vans that lead and surround the riders, whilst also directing traffic and spectators as the race speeds along.

West Yorkshire Police realised that technology could play an important role, because it is impossible for police to be everywhere, all the time. They had heard of the tracking and data analytics solution that Dimension Data deployed at the Tour de France and wanted the same technology to assist in managing the Tour de Yorkshire to make it safer and provide an inclusive experience for communities and spectators along the route.
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How vehicle tracking and data analytics co-ordinate the event?

GPS-tracking devices on police vehicles are linked to a cloud data analytics and tracking platform. It provides a real-time bird’s eye view of the 490km race, via a secure mobile app and helps coordinate police vehicles, across multiple police forces.

When consulting with West Yorkshire Police, Dimension Data considered the spectators, the community, as well as the roadside logistics associated with the route (e.g. barricaded roads, and how it would impact residents).  These factors needed to be meticulously planned to avoid severe congestion, accidents or chaos.

Dimension Data rapidly implemented its tracking and analytics solution, which is similar to the one used to track the riders during the Tour de France and other Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) races.

Police vehicles were subsequently equipped with a tracking device with GPS capability. Now, during the Tour de Yorkshire races, the positioning data generated by the tracking devices are relayed via the local mobile phone network to the Dimension Data cloud where it is collated and analysed.  The position and movement of each police vehicle is displayed on the Tour de Yorkshire live-tracking website, as well as on a secure mobile app as the race progresses.

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What value West Yorkshire Police gets from an analytics solution? 

West Yorkshire Police can collaborate with other police forces, ambulance and fire services to enable public safety.  IT enables effective crowd control, predicting challenges and co-ordinates 200 police. Spectators then gain an immersive experience of the race via a website.

The Tour de Yorkshire is now both safer and more interactive for spectators due to the visibility of police vehicles along the route. West Yorkshire Police coordinates vehicles from multiple police forces without needing to procure or implement any IT infrastructure. They can also track all vehicles and their locations in real-time, through a single-view interface.  This is critical when managing an event of such a scale.

 The public facing website serves to deliver an engaging spectator experience. The website also provides valuable information on road closures and openings to local businesses and residents to minimise disruption. 

‘There were some doubts as to whether a region like Yorkshire could manage a world-class sporting event of this size.  The success of the Tour de Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Police’s work with Dimension Data, Cisco and F5 proved that the region could successfully manage and co-ordinate a world-class sporting event,’ says Duncan Street, NPCC Liaison to British Cycling and CEG Commander, Protective Services Division (XA) | West Yorkshire Police.

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