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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 08:11 GMT 09:11 UK
Concerns over 999 radio systems
Aldgate train after bombing
Rescuers were hampered by inadequate communication
Radios being rolled out to emergency services in London remain a cause for concern, the London Assembly 7 July Review Committee has concluded.

The report highlighted outstanding issues relating to coverage and timing of the rollout of the Airwave radios.

In June 2006 an Assembly report said poor communication had hampered rescuers during operations on 7 July.

But the latest review also said major improvements to emergency plans and procedures had been put in place.

It noted that of the 54 recommendations made in the initial investigation, 40 have been either accepted, fully or partially implemented, or seen significant progress in addressing the issues raised.

Londoners can be reassured that... no one is being complacent about their ability to respond to such a horrific incident
Richard Barnes, Review committee chairman

Chairman of the review committee Richard Barnes said more work was needed to build on the significant improvements that had been made in the city's ability to respond to a major incident.

"Londoners can be reassured that... no one is being complacent about their ability to respond to such a horrific incident.

"Our report highlights continuing problems with Airwave that need to be tackled to ensure emergency service personnel have access to the robust and effective communications systems they need.

"Anything less would sell them and the Londoners they serve short."

Capacity issues

New digital radios are being rolled out to the police, fire and ambulance services to reduce reliance on mobile phones.

But the review found there had been serious delays with the introduction of the equipment and significant concerns relating to the capacity in London.

All of the Metropolitan Police's 32 boroughs are on course to be using the Airwave system by next month.

However, the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service said a number of "contractual and technical changes" meant they would not have the system up and running until nearer the end of 2008.

A Transport for London spokesman said it is investing more than 2bn over 20 years in a new digital radio network, called Connect, which will provide a platform for Airwave radios.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Concerns raised over emergency radio systems



SEE ALSO
Policeman recalls 7 July horror
02 Dec 05 |  London
Remembering the panic of 7 July
03 Nov 05 |  London

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