Essex Police and the Metropolitan Police Issue Notice for Registered Alarm Receiving Centres to be ECHO-connected by 1st October 2021

Tuesday 30 March 2021 - BSIA, NSI, FIA, FSA/ECA




ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations Ltd), the industry backed alarms handling operator, has today announced Essex Police and the Metropolitan Police jointly issued notice to their registered Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) to be ECHO-connected by 1st October 2021. 


Chief Superintendent Ewen Wilson, Head of Contact Management Command, Essex Police said “From the outset we have been at the forefront of the transition from existing telephone call handling of alarm activations to a modern, fully automated solution providing tangible benefits, including the reduction of call handling demands and police response times. Having been the first police force in the UK to successfully test and adopt the new process, we have every confidence in the delivery of this new automated service.  After careful consideration, Essex Police are now giving notice to registered ARCs that we expect them to become ECHO-connected by 1st October 2021 in order to retain police response for verified alarm activations of Intruder and Hold-Up Alarm Systems.”


Following recent successful ‘end to end’ testing of ECHO’s new automated alarm signalling transmission service, these two police forces are now accepting Intruder Alarm System (IAS) and Hold-Up Alarm (HUA) activation alerts directly into their police control rooms, without the need for manual call handling. From Friday 1st October 2021 both police forces expect all alarm signals from approved ARCs to be transmitted in this way via the ECHO platform, prioritising and increasing speed of police response. 


The introduction of the ECHO-connected service is the alarms industry response to the NPCC Requirements (‘Police Operational Advice and Security Industry Requirements for Response to Security Systems 2020’). Section 3.1.4 of the Requirements states ‘all Intruder Alarm System (IAS) and Hold-Up Alarm (HUA) activations be electronically transmitted to police control rooms…should the police force concerned be able to receive signals in this form’. 

In 2016 Operational Advice envisaged the potential benefits to the alarm user, industry and police service of the automatic electronic transfer of alarm signals, in eliminating communication errors and delays associated with manual telephone call handling, to ultimately provide a quicker police response. 


Alarm Receiving Centres registered with the Metropolitan Police Service and/or Essex Police requiring assistance to transmit alarm signals via ECHO should contact their alarm monitoring software provider. 


For further information contact Mark Taylor, General Manager ECHO: [email protected].



Press contact:  Dianne Gettinby NSI Head of Marketing Communications 

T: +44 (0)1628 764869 E: [email protected]


For more information on ECHO visit

LinkedIn search: ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations Ltd)


Editors Notes


Established in 2017, ECHO (Electronic Call Handling Operations Ltd) is a not for profit industry backed organisation delivering automated alarm signalling between the Alarms industry and the Police.

The BSIA, FIA, ECA and NSI have played key roles in developing and implementing the initiative. The launch presents a significant opportunity to facilitate more efficient use of emergency services, increasing call handling speed and accuracy, and police response.

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA), as the voice of the professional security industry, represents multiple sectors of private security in the UK. Its members provide over 70% of the UK’s security products, services and they adhere to strict quality standards. For more information visit



The Fire Industry Association (FIA) is the largest fire protection trade association in the UK with 850+ members. We are a not-for-profit organisation and a major provider of fire safety training. Our objective is to promote, improve and perfect fire protection methods, devices, services and apparatus. For more information visit

The Fire & Security Association (FSA) is the leading trade association dedicated to companies who design, install commission, maintain and monitor electronic fire, emergency and security system. As a specialist group of the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and working in partnership with SELECT, the Scottish electro-technical trade association, the FSA is uniquely positioned to improve industry standards and enhance and develop members' businesses. For more information visit

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is the UK's most highly trusted and respected independent third-party certification body approving more than 1800 companies for a wide range of services in the security and fire safety sector. For 50 years NSI has been protecting businesses, homeowners and the general public providing rigorous auditing through its highly trained, in-house team of experts. Buyers of security services who choose NSI approved companies can be assured of security and fire safety services delivered to British and International Standards and Industry Codes of Practice, by businesses committed to quality. For more information visit: