Advisory Group

BAPCO's Directors are supported by our Advisory Group. The group is made up of representatives of both industry and the user community.  Other members may be co-opted if the Board considers it would benefit the association. 

The Advisory Group perform an important role by providing assistance and advice to the Board when necessary, particularly in relation to topics for events and other media.  They also have an important role in environment scanning and keeping the Board informed of upcoming issues and opportunities based on their particular and often, specialist, knowledge of the sector.


  1. Matt Leat
  2. Becca Jones
  3. Fergus Mayne
  4. Ellie Rice
  5. Darrell Shaw
  6. Emily Benwell
  7. Ian Taylor
  8. Richard Russell
  9. Jason Somerville

Matt Leat

Matt is currently the Technology lead for HM Coastguard working from the organisations National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham. Prior to joining the Coastguard in 2010 Matt worked for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in London and is still a volunteer crewman, a position he has supported since 2002.

Since joining the Coastguard, Matt has undertaken significant operational and management roles within Search and Rescue with notable examples being the Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordinator for the Queens Diamond Jubilee River Pageant and senior manager for the internationally renowned Round the Island race.

Matt’s technology position requires an awareness and engagement with all operational disciplines within the organisation which includes Maritime, Coastal and Aeronautical Operations. This has seen the delivery of critical operational and technological programmes which includes the transferring of the UK Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre and the UK Mission Control Centre from the Royal Air Force to HM Coastguard in 2016.


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Becca Jones

ESN Deployment Director

Becca is the Deployment Director on the Emergency Services Network Programme having joined in March 2013. Becca is responsible for engaging with the broad ESN user community in planning and supporting their transition from Airwave onto ESN.

Becca has worked in support of the public safety sector for most of her career both in and outside the Home Office.  She started work in the NHS as a clinical biochemist, spending 14 years at the Forensic Science Service in operational and programme management roles.

Outside of work Becca is a competitive strongwoman and is currently training for World’s Strongest Woman. She also loves to travel. 

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Fergus Mayne

Fergus has been in the telecommunication industry for over 20 years and is currently the UK & I Country Manager and Head of Sales for Motorola Solutions. He leads a team responsible for looking after the Blue light, MOD and non-blue light organisations with mission critical communications and leading edge command & control solutions.

Previous to this he worked for BT as the Sales Director for Central Government and Health, managing a range of customers from the NHS to HMRC to the Maritime & Coast Guard Agency.

Fergus spent the first 10 years of his career in the British Army.


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Ellie Rice

Ellie has worked across the security sector for the last 15 years, joining the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in March 2018 where she is responsible for supporting security suppliers understand and access the marketplace, turning innovative technology into usable capability for Defence and Security. 

Ellie started her career within the intelligence community, deploying to Afghanistan with the first military intelligence element in Helmand province, becoming the first British female soldier to have operated in Helmand. She subsequently joined the police where she was responsible for the violent crime, firearms and distraction burglary strategic desk areas whilst providing tactical support to both overt and covert investigations relating to the distribution and supply of drugs, firearms and murder. 

She joined DASA from the private sector where she specialised in security and resilience sector business development, with experience of the public safety control room and radio programmes, leading teams focussed on both business growth and R&D.

As Head of Business Development for the national trade association for the defence and security sector, she has represented a diverse community of suppliers, working closely with senior officials from across Government departments, the intelligence agencies, fire and policing to promote knowledge sharing and collaboration between industry and Government which enhanced  market capability awareness, pre-procurement engagement and revenue generating opportunities.


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Darrell Shaw

Darrell is currently Systems Consultant at telent Technology Services Ltd (telent) and is based in the midlands. This role sees Darrell provide customers with first class support, not only with designing control room systems, but also delivering and supporting. Darrell’s breadth of skill and expertise in the emergency services sectors spans more than 15 years, having worked within several business areas in the sector. Before joining telent in 2016, Darrell worked for TRW/ Northrop Grumman as Test Team Leader for two years, which gave Darrell a detailed in-sight on the critical path of rolling out a new network - something which proved helpful for his current role at telent.

In 2003, Darrell moved into a service role within Airwave Solutions Ltd which saw him gain critical knowledge of operational activities as well as support customers during unplanned and life-changing events in the UK. During Darrell’s time at Airwave, he moved into a marketing role which saw him transform the way the company demonstrated its products and services, create and support events such as BAPCO and the previously known Tetra World Congress.

After eight years at Airwave, Darrell had a short stint at Ctalk as Technical Account Manager before making the transition to APD Communications in 2013 where he became Business Development Consultant. Darrell was responsible for pushing the APD Cortex and Aspire products forward and moving the goal posts on what matters within emergency services control rooms.

Darrell joined the Advisory Group of BAPCO in October 2018 in order to support the committee and to bring new ideas to ensure BAPCO’s goals in the future are exceeded.

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Emily Benwell

Emily Benwell is an independent telecoms consultant, currently working in the Home Office’s central technology team on the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme.  Emily began her career in IT at London Electricity where she gained her first experience in mobile data programmes: moving meter readings via SMS automatically transmitted from meter readers’ vans.  This interest led to a change of industry, and Emily moved to O2 where she was involved in the launch of multiple data products.

Emily has extensive mobile communications experience and IT delivery knowledge gained whilst working for O2 and EE: where she has led the strategy and product teams and in the delivery of various transformational technologies. Latterly, she was involved in the EE bid to be the network provider for ESMCP.  Through her EE role during the consultation stages and in the procurement for ESMCP, Emily worked extensively with the Authority and end users; and has gained a very broad knowledge of the whole ESMCP design.

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Ian Taylor

Ian is the Fire and Rescue Service Business Change Lead and Senior User with the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP), seconded to this role from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service. He works with a wide variety of stakeholders in supporting the roll out of the next generation of operational communications solution, as well as working to maximise the business benefits that the Emergency Services Network will offer.  Ian also provides support to the NFCC’s Operational Communications Board in a broad range of communications areas including Airwave and fireground radios.

Throughout his career Ian has served in a number of mainstream managerial, operational and specialist roles including overseeing Fire Protection, Corporate Support and Service Delivery. More recently he was the Service’s Lead, and ultimately Programme Manager, on a collaborative programme in conjunction with other local Fire and Rescue Service partners implementing a new end to end mobilising solution, including command and control system.

Ian graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Nottingham Trent University, is a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and is a qualified Collaborative Transformation Architect.

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Richard Russell

With a diverse telecommunications career spanning 36 years, Richard Russell gained extensive experience in Business and Mission Critical narrow and broadband radio communication technologies.

Richard is proud to have recently joined Tait Communications in July 2018 as Business Development Manager UK & Ireland, focused on critical communications for Utilities, Transportation and in particular Public Safety. Richard is convinced “This is an area of special relevance with exciting developments of solutions from Tait that will add real-life value to our front-line services”.

Richard spent 25 years at Motorola, having numerous technical and business positions including EMEA Product Management of Devices and Infrastructure, EMEA Business Development for Accessories & Energy and EMEA Go To Market Product Specialist. Having worked with Fire Rescue Service and SCBA manufacturers, Richard drove a development program of fire ground incident communications and SCBA communication solutions to significantly improve the quality of fire fighter communications and enhance their safety.

After leaving Motorola, Richard obtained valuable experience at Roadphone NRB, who specialise in resilient (life safety) digital radio communications infrastructure solutions. They have been deployed across Critical National Infrastructure, corporate (high profile), high value facilities and iconic real estate through-out London and UK.

Richard is a contributor & adviser to industry journals and is proud to be a British APCO Advisory Group Member.

Contact: +44 (0) 7711 460 759

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Jason Somerville

Jason is currently the Head of Clinical Communications and Telemetry for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS).

He started his communications career in 1990, working for Philips Telecom as a radio engineer. He was a volunteer for British Red Cross for many years, providing advice and guidance associated with VHF and UHF communications before joining Hampshire Ambulance Service in 1995.

Jason followed a typical clinical career path becoming a Paramedic, Ambulance Tutor and then Emergency Care Practitioner, before moving into managerial roles and later moved into to project management. Jason was the technical lead for the newly formed South Central Ambulance Service involved with local implementation of the Airwave, control room and mobile data delivery associated to the national Ambulance Radio Programme. Jason holds a senior leadership role, with a wide ranging communications and digital technologies strategy remit, including control rooms, electronic patient records, vehicle telemetry, mobile data and  responder communications.  He has a specific interest and responsibility for Emergency Service Interoperability, NHS digital services integration, critical and clinical digital systems development.

Jason still maintains links with his operational background, both as the Trust Lead Communications Tactical Advisor (Airwave) and as trained Tactical (Silver) Commander predominantly supporting planned events such as football matches.


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