I’ve seen the police service rise to many challenges over the last thirty years. The recent determination with which policing has addressed, for example, the challenges of reducing budgets has even led some to forget the severity of those challenges. Against this backdrop, crime has largely – and remarkably – continued to fall.
CoPaCC’s next Thematic will focus on Police ICT – and, specifically, on “Unlocking the Power of Police ICT”
Yet, as I was reminded time and time again at the Police ICT Summit last month, there is one particular area where policing continues to struggle. The way that the police service uses ICT has many bright spots and no shortage of success stories. But the technology that supports the policing front line seems permanently to lag behind the technology that officers and staff themselves use back at home.
This is not a new problem: similar concerns led to the creation of the Police Information Technology Organisation in the 1990s and the National Policing Improvement Agency a decade later. The response from 2010 onwards has been to invest our hopes in the new Police ICT Company.
January’s Summit heralded a bright future, and high hopes. Yet the old challenges haven’t gone away. Privately, several suppliers told me of concerns that we may be travelling down a familiar path and should expect a familiar result, trapped in our own Police ICT “Groundhog Day”.
Thematics recently published by CoPaCC include: “Police and Fire Mergers and Collaboration” (November 2016); “Brexit: Implications for Policing and Security” (October 2016).
With this in mind, I’m very pleased to announce that CoPaCC’s next Thematic will focus on Police ICT – and, specifically, on “Unlocking the Power of Police ICT”.
This Thematic will be a stock take on Police ICT – viewing the challenges, opportunities, frustrations and achievements in this specific area. We’ll ask the entire policing community to give their views on how well the opportunities of ICT have been exploited – and what more might be done to harness the extraordinary potential of information technology to support effective policing.
This CoPaCC “Unlocking the Power of Police ICT” Thematic will seek the views of:
- Users. CoPaCC will conduct an online survey of frontline officers and staff, plus will encourage thoughts and contributions from users in other ways, such as through interviews and social media. We will give a platform to the many members of the police service who have ideas to contribute. Nobody wishing to voice an opinion will be ignored.
- Suppliers. CoPaCC will invite contributions from policing technology suppliers. Our “call for submissions” will invite suppliers to contribute to this debate. Face-to-face panel sessions or seminars will be complemented by an online survey.
- Buyers. We’ll similarly seek input from the policing “buyer” community, including senior police officers, PCCs, the Police ICT Company and the Home Office.
- Other stakeholders, key influencers and interest groups. There are many others well placed to contribute to this Thematic. These include many the academic and advisory community; representative bodies and groups (for example, those championing victims’ cause). We will seek their contributions.
There are circumstances in which some contributors will wish to provide their input privately, and the CoPaCC Thematic will suitable provision for this. Contributors will be able to choose whether to be associated with their remarks in the final report, or for those inputs to be non-attributable.
CoPaCC is now inviting your thoughts on enhancements to our Thematic approach, plus offers of support or contribution to this Thematic, in whatever form that support or contribution might take.
We will publish our “Unlocking the Power of Police ICT” Thematic report in the late Summer of 2017. It will be for contributors to decide where this exciting project then takes us. It may be that the Thematic simply marks a moment in time in the long history of police technology. But equally – with the engagement, time, talents and contributions of stakeholders across the entire policing community – this could mark the point at frontline policing ICT support takes a great step forwards.
CoPaCC is now inviting:
- Your thoughts on enhancements to the above ambition and process
- Offers of support or contribution to this Thematic, in whatever form that support or contribution might take.
Please feel free to use the Comments facility below, or contact CoPaCC by email.
Recent Policing Insight articles on Police ICT include:
- “The way ahead for Police ICT: Greater force collaboration”, by former Greater Manchester Police ACC, Ian Wiggett
- “Reflections on the Police ICT Summit”, by Clare Elford, Managing Director of Clue
- “The Emergency Services Network is a brave but failed experiment that should be scrapped”, by Peter Clemons, Managing Director of Quixoticity
- “Police leaders must ensure the Emergency Services Network is fit for purpose”, an interview of former Chief Constable Andy Trotter by Policing Insight Associate Editor, Tina Orr Munro.
- “It’s elementary, Watson: The Police ICT Company’s problems are no mystery”, by CoPaCC Chief Executive Bernard Rix
- Policing Insight’s blogs on Day One and Day Two of the recent Police ICT Summit