UK public safety communications sector demonstrates resilience at BAPCO 2020


This year’s BAPCO Conference and Exhibition took place as planned from the 9-10 March at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. It attracted nearly 1,700 visitors across the course of its two days, alongside many of the world’s biggest public safety technology companies located on the exhibition floor.

Staged just prior to the many COVID-19 related lockdowns coming into force across the world, BAPCO 2020 demonstrated its value to the sector via the aforementioned number of visitors. As in previous years, many of these came to witness a high-level conference programme bringing into focus all the major issues currently facing UK public safety communications professionals.

Undoubtedly, the most popular of these sessions was the annual ‘Emergency Services Network update,’ which this year was delivered by director of law enforcement programmes at the Home Office, Stephen Webb. This was followed up by an equally well-attended session on the second day, looking at current frontline use of ESN technology both by Durham and Darlington FRS, and the immigration service.

Another key theme of the BAPCO 2020 conference meanwhile was the use by public safety of cutting edge communications technology such as AI, as facilitated by the cloud. Arguably the most thought-provoking of these presentations were delivered by Microsoft UK police lead Jimmy Cockerton and co-founder of H-Robotics Pippa Malmgren.

Alongside the conference sessions, another major draw for visitors - as is always the case - was the number of opportunities for high-level networking provided by over the course of the event. This not only included the exhibition floor but also the Annual Dinner, which took place after the completion of the first day.

Speaking of the success of this year’s BAPCO Conference and Exhibition, despite its taking place in such exceptional circumstances, organisation president John Anthony said: “We are currently living through extraordinarily difficult times, with recent events casting a shadow over everything we do both as a sector and a society. 

“With that in mind, I have to say how immensely proud I am of everyone who turned out to support this year’s BAPCO event in Coventry. Their commitment speaks of huge levels of resilience and commitment within our sector, which is always looking for new and innovative advantages in its core mission of protecting the public.

“At the same time, the footfall at the show this year demonstrates how important the event is to everyone who attends it. Our Conference and Exhibition provides - and will continue to provide - a range of sterling opportunities for both networking and best practice-based learning which are just not available anywhere else.”

Preparations are already underway for BAPCO 2021. To register your interest, click here.


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Philip Mason
Editor, Critical Communications Portfolio
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