Making police IT fit for the future

Putting IT at the heart of police organisations to improve crime-fighting while becoming more efficient and cost-effective

Rob Watkins



August 2015

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key fact

The challenges facing police forces in the UK today are more complex than ever.

The challenges facing police forces in the UK today are more complex than ever. In the face of budgetary pressure and increasingly sophisticated crime, police forces must put IT at the heart of their organisations if they are to succeed in improving crime-fighting capabilities while becoming more efficient and cost effective.

Our new white paper includes the views of several of our client sand partners, each lending their experience, opinions, and advice to paint a picture of what the future has in store for IT in policing.

Despite the challenges, from talking to senior IT resources and industry experts, as well as drawing on our own experience of working with the police, Mason Advisory senses optimism that the effective use of technology can help deliver a safer society. We have distilled our research into seven key areas facing UK police forces today, summarised by the contributor comments below.

Mobile and digital technology – moving away from paper-based systems

“Cops are increasingly tech savvy. Often they’re disappointed they can’t use the technology they have at home at work. Cops love a bit of new kit, and they want to be able to use it in the workplace.”

Managing data more effectively

“Changing our systems has been a great opportunity to cleanse and reconcile our data, but that’s because the contract for that system happens to have ended – it’s by luck rather than design.”

Supporting collaboration

“The Scottish police force is the template for it, and that was legislated in. It’ll go much the same way here.”

Giving IT departments a more strategic focus

“Some people are orientated around the old world, where one person looks after one application, and that’s their job. We need to change their mindset away from that, to be able to do more things than just the one thing they do.”

Attracting the right skills

“The people with the analytical skills we need are attracted to the private sector.”

Engaging with the wider force

“I’ve heard of instances where police officers have been given laptops and tablets, and they just turn them over, put their notebook on the back of it and start writing in that. They were just given technology without the additional business change activities required to derive the benefit.”

Making sure governance arrangements encourage real transformation

“It’s often hard to work out who’s responsible for change. It doesn’t fit into a specific portfolio and you can’t escalate everything to the chief constable. Governance will be a key enabler here.”

Key Points

  • The continued move away from paper-based systems
  • Cleansing, reconciling and more effectively managing police data
  • Supporting collaboration between both forces and departments

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