Wearable "early warning systems" are in the pipeline—though this raises concerns about privacyby Will Mosseri-Marlio / April 14, 2016 / Leave a comment
The police are not renowned for their adoption of digital technology. Forces in England and Wales were recently found by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to have “weak and ageing” IT capability. Given the growth in cybercrime—which includes extremism coordinated online—addressing this shortcoming is not just a nice gesture towards increasingly tech-savvy citizens; it is an absolute priority.
A partnership between West Midlands Police (WMP) and Accenture, the management consultancy company, examined in a paper released by Reform today, offers some direction for those seeking to understand how digital innovations can secure better policing outcomes. Having faced the second largest funding fall of police forces in England and Wales under the Coalition Government, WMP realised they would not achieve their objectives for 2020 without redesigning their working methods. Shifting communications to online channels has already saved the force £5 million, while apps that allow officers to resolve tasks remotely will reduce the amount of time spent in transit. On their own, these initiatives sound small—but the plan is more than the sum of its parts. WMP’s 2020 model promises to deliver savings in each year of the parliament and deliver a better officer and citizen experience.