A NEW phone app is being launched by Gwent Police designed to provide force control room operators with an accurate picture of an unfolding emergency.

The 999eye is a smartphone app that allows members of the public calling 999 or 101 to either securely stream live footage or upload images of incidents into control rooms.

Gwent Police are the first force to use the app which will be trialled in a two-month pilot.

The first phase will focus on emergency 999 calls before rolling out the app to both 999 and 101 calls at the end of November.

Head of Gwent Police's force control room, Superintendent Ian Roberts, said: “It’s fantastic that Gwent Police is leading the way in piloting such an advanced piece of technology.

“In addition to transforming the way 999 calls are dealt with, 999eye will also provide crucial evidence to support ongoing investigations, bringing significant benefits to officers, 999 callers and members of the public.”

Originally developed by West Midlands Fire Service and Capita for fire related incidents, the two month pilot by Gwent Police makes their force the first to use this initiative in the UK.

During a 999 or 101 call the force control room operator, with the caller's permission, will send a text to the caller's smartphone with a secure link.

Once clicked, a live stream is established that allows footage or images to be sent directly to the control room with GPS coordinates captured to help locate an incident's exact location.

The secure link can only be used once and no footage is stored on the caller’s smartphone and if the caller has low signal, photographs can be sent across instead.

CEO of PageOne / Capita, Chris Jones, said: "This is a ground-breaking solution that is already delivering benefits to blue light services and the general public.

"We are very pleased that Gwent Police has decided to take advantage of this technology and we look forward to the results of its pilot"

He added that the app has Product Innovation award at the BAPCO 2017 conference for a product that has the "greatest impact on public safety communications" and said it is "simple and easy to use".

It allows control room operators, who are under considerable time pressure to see the incident, helping them allocate the correct resources – in an emergency, saving time could save lives," he said.

For more information, visit: www.gwent.police.uk