AFP searches for a tracking system that supports 4G, 5G devices

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AFP searches for a tracking system that supports 4G, 5G devices

Universal tracking platform to replace multiple existing systems.

The Australian Federal Police is set to stand up a single system to manage the tracking of persons of interest and officers in order to pave the way for 4G and 5G devices.

The national policing agency revealed plans for the universal tracking platform in a request for tender this week to consolidate its multiple existing systems.

The platform will be used to manage and monitor the tracking of officers (blue force tracking), as well as persons or objects of interest (red force tracking).

Under the Surveillance Devices Act, an officer may “use a tracking device without a warrant in the investigation of a relevant offence”.

Targets or objects of interest can tracked using covert devices, while the AFP can track offers using a phone app, according to tender documents.

The AFP currently uses both commercial-off-the-shelf and bespoke systems system for tracking, but these are reaching end-of-life as they only support 3G devices.

Existing standalone systems are also unable to connect to the AFP’s common visualisation interface, reducing their utility for sharing tacking information with investigators.

The AFP said the new platform will consolidate command and control functionality, allowing it to track multiple devices, and “support the replacement of 3G devices with LTE and 5G”.

Devices could include “dedicated tracking devices, tracking components of other devices i.e. Internet of Things devices: audio, cameras, smartphone blue force apps”, it said.

The platform is also expected to allow uses to visualise tracking data from devices and other sources of location data on a map in real-time.

It will also need to be capable of integrating with its future next generation law enforcement monitoring facility (LEMF), which the AFP also went looking for earlier this year.

A “common ingestion pipeline” will ensure tracking data from devices can be viewed on a consolidated platform regardless of device type.

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