ECHO – Changes to your intruder alarm

8th September 2021

Dear SECOM Customer,

Re: – Electronic Call Handling Operations (ECHO) – Changes to your intruder alarm signalling handling and URN charging

The way intruder alarm signals are processed by Alarm Receiving Centres will be changing later this year, whereby all Police signalling alarm systems that hold a valid Unique Reference Number (URN) will be processed electronically via Electronic Call Handling Operations (ECHO) to the appropriate Police Force. ECHO is a not-for-profit organisation who automate transmission of alarm signalling to blue light services, in conjunction with the National Police Chiefs Council and key security industry stakeholders. These changes are being implemented to improve both the speed and quality of the Police response to all alarms with a valid URN. Integration into the ECHO initiative is mandatory for all ARC’s that wish to continue to pass alarms for police response.

The changes coming into force are: –

  • Essex Police Force & London Metropolitan Police Force will be the first adopters of ECHO scheduled for October 2021. All other UK Police Forces will follow when they are capable of connection to the ECHO platform.
  • Our SECOM Control & Command ARC operators will verify the alarm and with a click of a button the connection to the Police will be passed directly from Sentinel, our alarm handling software, over the ECHO platform and delivered to the appropriate Police Force. Our operator will handle all other actions as normal, such as notifying site and keyholders.
  • ECHO will make an annual charge to the ARCs of £2 per annum (+VAT) for each intruder and hold up alarm with a URN as a contribution to the upkeep of the network and SECOM Plc will pass on this charge to the customer with no additional mark-up. Where the same URN is used for both intruder and hold up it will be £2 per annum (+VAT) for each, any site with the same URN for both Intruder and PA will be billed twice.
  • Active URNs listed on our database under Essex and London Metropolitan on or after 6th September 2021 will levy the £2 (+VAT) per URN fee from 1st October 2021.
  • Please note that the procedure and charges for applying for a new URN will not be affected, however the £2 per URN per annum charge will be added to all new installations with a completion date post 1st October 2021.

SECOM Plc are required to complete a final URN declaration for both the Essex Police Force and London Metropolitan Police Force prior to this change coming in effect and will then be charged accordingly.

We attach an official ECHO flyer which explains the benefits of the platform, should you have any queries or require further information, please do get in touch with us or visit the ECHO website on

Yours faithfully

Alan Blake
Commercial Director
For & on behalf of SECOM Plc

For more information on ECHO