- Streamline evidence collection, analysis, sharing
- Digitally transform manual processes
- Support community and criminal justice partners
- Reduce in-person contact and virus risk for officers and community members
- NICE Investigate
- Digital transformation has saved time for investigators and keeps them safer as well
- Maintained high levels of service to citizens and criminal justice partners in spite of pandemic challenges
- Faster evidence collection results in better informed charging decisions
- Streamlined sharing of evidence promotes speedy justice
About North Wales Police (Heddlu Gogledd Cymru)
With over 1,450 police officers, 250 police community support officers and 800 staff, North Wales Police serves a population of 687,800 citizens in the UK counties of Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.
Today, digital transformation is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in policing and this includes transforming how police forces collect, analyse and share evidence. But in a pandemic, forces like North Wales Police are finding digital transformation to be even more essential. After all, what do you do when interpersonal contact, which is the very nature of policing, puts officers at risk too?
In-person contact and driving from location to location to collect evidence create unnecessary risks for officers, and community members too. Additionally, COVID-19 can linger on surfaces, including paper and plastic, for days, which makes touching and handling of physical evidence risky. These risks are compounded when physical evidence is handed off from person to person.
In the face of the pandemic, police forces all over the world are pioneering new, creative ways to digitally transform processes to help officers worker smarter and safer. One such trailblazer is North Wales Police. As a result of much foresight, planning and preparation, North Wales Police had already started on a digital transformation journey when it deployed the cloud-based NICE Investigate Digital Evidence Management solution in late 2019. But the benefits became all the more clear when the pandemic struck in March 2020.
We’ve transitioned our processes from officers traveling to collect digital evidence on a disc or USB to being able to do all of this online. As well as eliminating unnecessary risks around handling media and traveling to various locations, this also means our officers are able to review vital evidence faster as well.”
Superintendent Jason Devonport, North Wales Police
Jason Devonport, Superintendent for North Wales Police, explained: “Here at North Wales Police, we’re always thinking of better and more efficient ways that we can be working, but this became even more important with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Using NICE Investigate, North Wales Police was able to digitally transform work processes around evidence collection and sharing, to help minimise risk for its officers, while still continuing to provide the utmost service to its criminal justice partners and community members.
For example, ordinarily, digital evidence would need to be collected in person, copied onto discs, and physically handled many times. But with NICE Investigate, North Wales Police investigators are now able to collect evidence without the risk of physical contact. Crowdsourced evidence from citizens (video, photos, etc.) and CCTV video evidence can all be secured remotely. Additionally, physical media and paper folders have been replaced by digital evidence and digital case folders. And that digital evidence stays digital; there’s no need to replicate it over and over onto more discs and USBs.
Devonport explained: “We’ve transitioned our processes from officers traveling to collect digital evidence on a disc or USB to being able to do all of this online. As well as eliminating unnecessary risks around handling media and traveling to various locations, this also means our officers are able to review vital evidence faster as well.”
For example, using NICE Investigate, North Wales’ investigators can create a community appeal for any active investigation in seconds and provide a secure link for citizens to upload evidence. Citizens simply click on a secure link to submit their videos, photos and tips. This electronic process retains valuable metadata, including time/date and location, and content is automatically virus-checked before it’s uploaded to NICE Investigate’s secure cloud. Investigators are alerted each time new case evidence appears, so they can immediately review and act on it. And this is just one of the ways NICE Investigate is helping to keep officers safe.
Beyond keeping our officers and community members safer during this challenging time, uploading evidence has been a real time-saver. Our officers are able to access and review vital evidence quicker and are making more informed charging decisions as a result.”
Superintendent Jason Devonport, North Wales Police
Local businesses can also register their cameras via the NICE Investigate Public Portal. When an incident occurs, the North Wales’ investigators can instantly visualise where cameras are located, and request footage from area businesses. “Knowing where all of the nearby cameras are located helps us obtain vital footage so we can identify perpetrators faster, without requiring our officers to physically canvas the area on foot,” added Devonport. “We simply send an email with a link directing the business contact to our secure NICE Investigate Public Portal where they can upload their CCTV footage. It’s automatically transcoded so the officer can review it straight away.”
”Beyond keeping our officers and community members safer during this challenging time, uploading evidence has been a real time-saver. Our officers are able to access and review vital evidence quicker and are making more informed charging decisions as a result.”
Additionally, sharing evidence with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) used to require copying evidence onto discs and traveling from location to location. NICE Investigate has totally digitised this process as well. Sharing digital evidence is now as simple as sending a secure link, and chain of custody is fully protected.
Davenport says that the feedback from North Wales’ officers and criminal justice partners has been really positive. “They see this change as being here for good. It’s really helping them become more effective in what they do.”
About NICE Public Safety
With over 3000 customers and 30 years’ experience, NICE’s solutions deliver digital transformation, improved collaboration, efficiency and cost-savings to all types of public safety and criminal justice agencies, from emergency communications centres and police forces, to prosecutors, defence solicitors and courts.
Our Evidencentral platform (which includes NICE Inform, NICE Investigate and NICE Justice) features an ecosystem of integrated technologies that bring data together to improve incident response, accelerate investigations, streamline evidence disclosure, enhance digital collaboration with justice partners, and keep communities and citizens safer.
To find out more visit www.nicepublicsafety.com