Publication Digital Justice 13 April, 2016

The future of public services: digital policing

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Reform’s report, The future of public services: digital policing, highlights the important role technology can play in helping the police forces of England and Wales address tomorrow’s challenges. This paper is the second in a series, conducted in partnership with Accenture, looking at the transformative role technology will play in the future delivery of public services.

Police forces face an uphill task this Parliament. Crime may be falling, but officers need new skills to keep pace with the proliferation of cybercrime and extremism. At the same time, public expectations are rising, with the public demanding a more immediate, online and mobile relationship with the police. Technology must form part of the solution to these challenges.

This paper uses the example of West Midlands Police (WMP) to demonstrate what a digitally-enabled police might look like. Having faced one of the steepest budgetary challenges in the last Parliament, the force partnered with Accenture to design a new operating model capable of achieving their 2020 targets. Technology sits at the heart of the three-pronged WMP2020 plan: channel shift for citizen interactions, increased productivity through more effective deployment of resource and preventative policing using data analytics.

It is, however, the outcomes that WMP are buying, not the technology – digital innovation is simply a means to delivering objectives. As a result, WMP looks set to meet tomorrow’s policing challenges.

The future of public services: digital justice, which was published in February, can be found here.