We work with a range of BIDs in the UK and specialise in supplying exactly the type of equipment they need for events all year round. As technology evolves and challenges change, our team is on hand to recommend the right communications solution to improve operational efficiency whilst adhering to compliance regulations.

BIDs hold a unique place within the business community and often look after a tremendous amount of varied responsibilities and activities. We have worked extensively across the UK to provide each BID with their bespoke two-way radio requirement.

About Slough BID

Although Slough BID is a relatively new project (being voted in by Slough Council in 2020 as part of their “Safe & Secure” scheme), our existing customer, Slough Town Against Crime (also known as STAC), was a scheme established over 10 years ago in conjunction with the council to reduce and prevent crime in Slough and some surrounding areas. STAC was originally set up with a traditional RF radio system with a central repeater. Handsets with the retailers and the town CCTV and Police were also connected to the system with additional two way radios. The scheme benefited from good coverage across the town using initially Motorola analogue radios, then more recently a mix of Motorola DP4000 Series radios provided by Foresolutions.
The newly voted in Slough BID recognised the value of STAC, and as part of their “Safe & Secure” initiative they decided to take the scheme over. In 2021 Clarissa Parker joined the team and quickly identified that the use of newer technology would really help the scheme and re-engage the members, and went on to research their own new solution provider.

Our Brief

Upon notification by STAC that their scheme was being taken over by Slough BID, and that the current radio equipment contract with us would not be renewed, we approached Clarissa to discuss the objectives for the new scheme. However, it was not that straightforward, as many of the existing radio hire agreements were directly with the retailers and they were not all at the end of the contracts, so our willingness to provide flexible contracts was a key factor in the smooth transition from STAC.

The original STAC scheme had a data sharing agreement which initially worked well, however this system became out of date very quickly, especially with some of recent changes to the laws around data sharing. The current data sharing practice wasn’t instant or as secure as it needed to be. With any of these schemes, group engagement is the key factor: the more active the members are, the better this becomes. Members turning on the radio purely when they have an issue doesn’t really help the impact of the scheme, and in some cases can actually lead to dis-engagement over time. The real value of this is about sharing eyes and ears and knowledge.

After initial meeting is was clear that Slough BID would benefit from the following functionality:

  • Instant and Live data sharing
  • The ability to upload videos and pictures
  • Live stream of incidents
  • Conversation play back on devices
  • Uninterrupted coverage for Slough and beyond
  • Over the air programming and changes


Flexible Contracts
Clarissa was keen that the new communications solutions would be fully managed by and contracted to Slough BID, rather than at individual retailer level. As we held all the contracts for the current system, we offered to terminate them all early and set up new flexible agreements that covered the needs of all participating retailers and organisations with a choice of outright purchase or hire. Slough BID has also part funded the new solution, whereas before the cost was solely on the shoulders of the retailers.

After initial meetings, tests and demonstrations it was decided to use the local radio supplier in Slough: HYTERA, a leading provider of business communications hardware and software. As an approved Hytera Applications Partner, we have been an early adopter of their PoC (Push To Talk Over Cellular) and HyTalk technology, with a multi tenant server hosted in their own Microsoft Azure tenant. Clarissa chose a 3 year hire agreement.

Cellular Multi-Function Communications Devices
We chose two device types, the PNC550 and PNC380 with two way video calling and cameras, GPS and lone working capabilities. These devices, coupled with the HYTalk web dispatcher that enables you to group call from your PC, track, video call or respond to emergencies, is a really powerful tool.

Robust Data Security
Foresolutions has a great relationship with DISC, a data sharing platform used primarily to report and record offences and share data between members who we have worked with previously.

Part of the reasoning for choosing the HyTalk system was so the DISC app would be fully accessible from the
handset allowing users to instantly upload pictures and videos then share them.

Reliable Connectivity
To keep these devices connected, the local WiFi network was used alongside Aeris multi network roaming SIMs, providing the greatest chance of continuous connectivity nearly all of the time.

The Disc System

Disc is the unique online system that’s helping drive down low-level crime and anti-social behaviour in communities throughout the UK. With its desktop and app-based interfaces, Disc empowers local business communities, retailers, neighbourhoods and large venues to protect their property and people by ‘self-managing’ low-level crime and anti-social behaviour.

Compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is built into Disc, aligning tightly with ‘Data Protection by Design and Default’ – what Disc call ‘Compliance by Design’.

Disc incorporates many processes and controls which support compliance, as well as important Best Practice principles. Disc is delivered on a robustly secure environment providing comprehensive ‘technical security’ as defined in GDPR.

Consultancy on compliance – including useful ‘Model’ documentation – is provided as part of the Disc implementation process for new customers, so Clarissa can be confident her team will be operating within strict data-sharing compliant processes.

The Technology Explained

How does PTToC Work?
Rather than conventional two-way radios with repeaters and infrastructure that just cover a local but wide area network, like a two-way radio, with PTToC you push the button to talk, but the devices are more like phones. These radios operate over all of the mobile phone networks and the local Wi-Fi, giving the customer national coverage, over the air
programming and an android operating system that enables them to use their suite of management apps on one device.

The Connectivity
Our global partner, Aeris, provided us with connectivity across all networks so wherever the device is, it has the best chance of communication. This can all be managed from a client portal in case we need to change any tariffs or disable a device. Alongside Aeris, each device is using Bluetooth, GPS and is also communicating over the local Wi-Fi network.

The Software
Hytera HyTalk is designed for the professional communication demands of a variety of vertical industries. It is the perfect choice for professionals who want to communicate without coverage or capacity constraints. Key features include: voice communications, directory and presence, instant messaging positioning, streaming video, web-based dispatch, centralised management and recordings.

The Hardware - Hytera PNC 550
PNC550 is a smart POC radio integrating smart phone and professional Push-to-talk function over cellular. It’s a robust device with high compatibility and security performance, ideal for running the Disc data sharing app for Slough BID.

  • 5-inch HD Multi-touch Display
  • High Capacity Battery and Fast Charge
  • Loud and Clear Voice Quality
  • HD Camera
  • Dual SIM Dual Standby Dual 4G
  • Rugged and Compact Design IP68, military standard (MIL-STD-810 G)
  • NFC Function

Clarissa Parker of Slough BID says:

“As soon as Tom approached us about the existing contracts for the original STAC scheme I could tell that Foresolutions were going to provide exactly the right level of flexibility and support that we needed in order to bring the management of the scheme under direct control of Slough BID. Their recommended solution not only used equipment from a supplier based in Slough, which I was keen to do, but they also had existing relationships with key organisations such as Disc and Aeris who could combine to provide the exact level of connectivity and data integrity we needed. The hire option felt right for us as it also included complete warranty protection for the life of the contract.”

Get in touch today to speak to one of our two-way radio and PoC experts on 0330 094 5344 or email sales@foresolutions.co.uk 


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Whether you need to hire one unit for an event over a weekend or you need to kit out a full squad of security staff, Foresolutions can provide a package suited to you.

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