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Opinion:

Police ICT: Delivering change at pace in a digitally-disrupted age

OPEN ianbell2nd December 2019Ian Bell, CEO, Police ICT Company

With the annual Police ICT Summit approaching in the New Year, Ian Bell, CEO of the Police ICT Company reflects on the progress that has been made since last year's conference and what delegates can look forward to at this year's event.

Coming up in January next year is our fifth annual Police ICT Summit, which we co-host with the National Police Technology Council. The Summit allows us to provide a way for our industry to come together to learn from each other and to discuss how technology can be used to enable transformational reform in policing.

Our service is under pressure from ever more complex criminality and a technical skills shortage in areas like cybercrime.

As we approach the end of 2019, and with our Summit just around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect on what our industry has achieved over the last year and to think about what challenges we still face in terms of technological enablement.

Policing across the UK sets the standard for law enforcement agencies across the world. However, our service is under pressure from ever more complex criminality and a technical skills shortage in areas like cybercrime, set against the long-standing challenge of ensuring public money is invested wisely.

The Police ICT Company exists to support policing to keep people safe, get more from technology investments and make better use of public money. This year we developed our service offer to provide greater value to policing.

Our service offer includes ten individual lines of support that policing can expect the Company to provide on its behalf, all of which are supported by scaling three fundamental pillars.

  • Helping maintain the direction: In partnership with the National Police Technology Council, providing technical insight and leadership to define how policing and its partners can use technology to deliver the Policing Vision 2025;
  • Sourcing the deal: Negotiating and managing contracts, achieving efficiencies and value for money; and
  • Assuring the delivery: Supporting the major policing technology programmes, reducing risk and coordinating service delivery.

These are solid foundations that will underpin our work going forward. As we all know, policing does not operate in a vacuum and cannot stand still in the increasingly digital world in which we work and live. We have made progress in the last few years, particularly around mobile technology and progressively considering and adopting migration to cloud services.

Underpinning the ambitions up to 2030 are changes to data and technology and, most importantly, the development of the people who lead, manage and use it.

However, there is so much more we can be doing with digital technologies to more effectively meet the needs of the public and the officers who serve them, via opportunities like seamless communication, transfer of information and data storage.

In light of this and inspired by the soon-to-be-published National Policing Digital Strategy 2020-2030, which builds on the Policing Vision 2025, the theme of Summit 2020 is Delivering Change at Pace in a Digitally Disrupted Age.

Digital transformation is central to our ambitions for seamless citizen experience, addressing harm, enabling officers and staff, embedding a whole public system approach and empowering the private sector. Underpinning the ambitions up to 2030 are changes to data and technology and, most importantly, the development of the people who lead, manage and use it.

As ever, the Summit will take an interactive approach, providing an opportunity for discussions between police forces and suppliers and for sharing best practice and exchanging ideas that tie into the Summit’s key themes. There will be exhibition space and workshop opportunities for smaller, emerging suppliers, as well as those suppliers already working in policing, Delegates will be able to attend workshops hosted by suppliers in partnership with policing organisations that focus on demonstrating the products, services and latest thinking that is helping policing respond to threats and opportunities posed by disruptive technologies. The varied agenda features input from senior national stakeholders in policing, law enforcement and government and delegates will once again have access to decision-makers within the UK police service.

I hope to see you there, because it is only by working together that we will be able to shape a concerted and coordinated movement across policing to surmount the challenges that modernisation and digitalisation present to the safety of our nation.

The Police ICT Summit 2020 will be held on 21-22 January at The Midland Hotel, Manchester. More information can be found at: www.policeictsummit.co.uk


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