4-page Case Study
Posted: 6/8/2010
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Hungarian National Police Department Police Agency Improves Enforcement, Cuts Costs With Data Processing Solution

After a legislative change that resulted in easier enforcement of traffic laws and an increased case load, the Hungarian National Police needed to improve its traffic-offense processing system. An internally developed solution was labor-intensive, requiring 162 full-time employees and taking as long as three weeks to return verdicts and impose fines. After reviewing bids from multiple vendors, the agency selected Microsoft Services to develop and deploy a solution called TrafficPoint, based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2. TrafficPoint, which accepts data in a variety of formats, automates such tasks as identifying vehicle owners from digital photos of license plates, assembling case files, and tracking payment of fines. The solution is already helping to reduce accidents, save money, and improve enforcement of parking violations.

Situation

The Hungarian National Police is one of the largest institutions in the Republic of Hungary, with 40,000 officers working nationwide. Founded in 1882, the agency has about 25,000 patrol officers whose duties include enforcing traffic laws and regulations.

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* With a solution based on the Microsoft Application Infrastructure, our officers have access to powerful tools that support precise, professional work and help them accomplish more now using fewer resources.  *

Lieutenant Colonel István Forray
Head of Development for the IT and Technical Directorate
Hungarian National Police

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Several years ago, Hungary was struggling with unacceptably high levels of automobile accidents resulting in injury. In 2007, police responded to 20,635 accidents involving injuries, including 1,232 fatalities. The public demanded better enforcement of laws, such as speed limits, that could reduce the number of accidents and accident-related injuries or deaths, but there was a problem. Although authorities had deployed automatic radar cameras throughout the country, if vehicle owners denied that they had been driving at the time, Hungarian law did not permit them to be convicted of the offense.

To correct this problem, the country’s parliament, the National Assembly of Hungary, passed a law in 2007 imposing fines on the owners of any vehicles caught speeding by automatic radar systems, regardless of whether they had been operating the vehicles. The new law also permitted private firms to contract with the government to operate automatic radar systems. The legislative change was an important step toward reducing accident-related injuries and deaths, but it created its own problem: by the time the new law was passed, the Hungarian National Police had only five months to prepare its IT system for what was expected to be a vastly increased number of traffic-offense cases.

As a first step, the Hungarian National Police deployed an internally developed application to help manage the process of receiving notification of an offense, identifying and fining the vehicle’s owner, and recording the final disposition of the case. But this solution was highly manual and required 162 officers to work full-time on such tasks as downloading data from radar equipment, locating photographs of the offending vehicles, querying the national registry of automobile records to identify vehicle owners, and transmitting the resulting case files to appropriate judicial authorities for adjudication. Processing each case this way could take as long as three weeks.

The Hungarian National Police needed a solution that could automate this data processing and free more officers for police work. Because the new law did not specify the kind of radar equipment that could be used by contractors, the solution also needed to be able to process a variety of data formats.

Hungarian National Police

Solution

The Hungarian Police studied similar solutions that had been deployed in France and Sweden but found that they would not meet Hungary’s requirements. The agency also considered off-the-shelf software packages designed for law enforcement customers, but these were insufficient, too. The agency reviewed proposals for the custom development of a new system from several vendors and selected Microsoft Services. “Microsoft Services was the only vendor that was able to build a system that would meet our requirements within our very tight schedule,” says Lieutenant Colonel István Forray, Head of Development for the IT and Technical Directorate of the Hungarian National Police.

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* The Microsoft solution works so well that police forces in other countries are now contacting to us to learn how they can implement a similar solution.  *

Lieutenant Colonel István Forray
Head of Development for the IT and Technical Directorate
Hungarian National Police

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Starting in 2008, Microsoft consultants helped the Hungarian National Police deploy a new solution based on the Microsoft Application Infrastucture, including Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 data management software. The TrafficPoint solution also includes Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. At first, TrafficPoint interoperated with the internally developed solution, but in March 2010 it fully replaced the previous solution and now handles all aspects of traffic-offense case processing.

With the new solution, Hungarian National Police contractors can use a range of third-party automatic speed-trap systems. In addition, officers who once relied on manual cameras to record evidence of parking violations now have been issued Windows Mobile 6.1 devices with cameras and GPS modules.

In a process managed by BizTalk Server 2006 R2, data from Windows Mobile devices or radar systems is downloaded, standardized, and forwarded to an administration module based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. There TrafficPoint automatically recognizes digits in the photographs of vehicle license plates, queries central ownership records, and calculates the appropriate fine. The solution then forwards completed case files to judicial authorities, who review the information for accuracy before rendering a verdict. Afterward, TrafficPoint is prompted to print verdict decrees, documentation of the fines, and envelopes that are addressed to vehicle owners and include a bar code for return receipt purposes. The solution tracks the status of fine payments and refers overdue fines to tax authorities for collection.

The TrafficPoint solution uses Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services to audit data provisioning and administrative work processes and to measure key performance indicators such as throughput. A Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web portal provides an interface for cooperating local governments and other officials to input and access case data. Citizens can also use this portal to view their case records, upload additional documentation, and pay fines electronically.

As practical matters related to implementing the new law were worked out, the requirements for the new solution changed frequently during development. The agency praises the Microsoft consultants who worked on the project for adapting so well to these changes. “The Microsoft consultants were extremely knowledgeable, creative, and—most important of all—very flexible,” says Forray. “They were true partners in implementing an extremely complex system that is already exceeding our expectations. The Microsoft solution works so well that police forces in other countries are now contacting to us to learn how they can implement a similar solution.”

Benefits

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* With the Microsoft Application Infrastructure solution, we are already seeing an increase in the number of these infractions that our officers are reporting, and we expect citizens to have more respect for these laws as a result.  *

Lieutenant Colonel István Forray
Head of Development for the IT and Technical Directorate
Hungarian National Police

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By developing and deploying a new solution based on the Microsoft Application Infrastructure, the Hungarian National Police is seeing fewer accidents, faster case processing, and improved enforcement of parking violations.

Fewer Accidents

The legislative change is already improving public safety, and the efficiency of the new TrafficPoint solution is expected to amplify this effect. “In the 18 months following passage of the new law, the number of traffic accidents decreased by 30 percent,” says Forray. “And for the first time since 1990, traffic fatalities have dropped below 1,000.”

Forray credits part of that decline to increased public awareness that traffic-safety laws are now being enforced more effectively. “Between 2008 and 2009, the number of fines we issued for speeding increased more than 10 percent, but we were able to process all of the cases much faster than in previous years,” says Forray. “People know that they are now much less likely to get away with speeding and other violations.”

Faster Case Processing

The TrafficPoint solution reduces the time required to process traffic-offense cases from weeks to hours. As a result, nearly 100 officers can be reassigned to more important tasks, drastically reducing the cost of such processing and reducing the number of cases that must be dismissed because of delays. Reassigned officers can also increase the police presence on the streets, helping to reduce and prevent crimes.

Improved Enforcement

By eliminating the manual cameras previously used to collect evidence of offenses such as illegal parking and replacing them with Windows Mobile 6.1 devices, the new solution makes it easier for officers to document such infractions. “Our officers hated using the old cameras, because they were not well-designed for evidence documentation,” says Forray. “For example, the cameras did not record location data, so officers had to complete extensive paperwork on the scene, increasing their workload and their chances of confrontations with angry vehicle owners.”

Consequently, officers sometimes avoided these tasks, but the new solution is changing that. “Our officers are much more comfortable using the GPS-enabled devices for this purpose,” Forray continues. “With the Microsoft Application Infrastructure solution, we are already seeing an increase in the number of these infractions that our officers are reporting, and we expect citizens to have more respect for these laws as a result.”

Forray says his agency is very happy that it decided to work with Microsoft on the new solution. ““With a solution based on the Microsoft Application Infrastructure, our officers have access to powerful tools that support precise, professional work and help them accomplish more now using fewer resources. It’s no surprise to me that TrafficPoint is already attracting international interest.”

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For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Hungarian National Police products and services, call (06) (1) 443-5500 or visit the Web site at:
www.police.hu

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 40000 employees

Organization Profile

The Hungarian National Police protects public safety in the Republic of Hungary. With around 40,000 employees, the agency has about 25,000 officers assigned to enforce traffic laws.


Business Situation

A legislative change threatened to increase the agency’s traffic-offense case load, and its internally developed system was too inefficient to handle the increase. The agency wanted to automate the processing of traffic offenses.


Solution

The Hungarian National Police deployed a solution based on the Microsoft Application Infrastructure, including Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.


Benefits

  • Fewer accidents
  • Faster case processing
  • Improved enforcement


Hardware

IBM BladeCenter HS21 blade servers


Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Services
  • Microsoft Consulting Services
  • BMC - Mission Critical
  • Microsoft Biztalk Server 2006 R2
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • BMC - Next Generation Applications
  • Dynamics CRM
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

Vertical Industries
Public Safety & Justice

Country/Region
Hungary

Business Need
  • Data Management
  • Business Critical
  • Mission Critical

IT Issue
  • Document and Records Management
  • High Availability

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Microsoft Consulting Services Microsoft Services

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