Chief information officers may have worked for their fair share of organizations, but these IT professionals’ services could now be needed to fight crime. While they may not be outfitting the Batcave with cloud computing solutions, they could expect an increase in demand for their tech skills among police departments throughout the world. The Metropolitan Police in London has recently been making moves to overhaul the way it keeps its city secure by incorporating a number of technological advancements into its daily functions. As these police officers reap the benefits, other law enforcement departments could be following suit, and CIOs should be ready to work their IT magic to help them adopt different innovative tools.
According to Computer Weekly, the Metropolitan Police Service announced that it has developed a three- to four-year plan that will help it upgrade all of the department’s operations using the latest developments in IT. After assessing its practices and pinpointing problem areas, the Met has determined exactly where to implement technological solutions, carefully selecting the ones that would render optimal results. Following this extensive evaluation and formulation of a plan – a process that was delayed a whopping nine months – the department finally put together a program that could revolutionize police practices in London.
What’s the plan?
IT professionals may be curious about the exact plan of action that the Met will take in the coming years. Computer Weekly reported that one of the first points of attack is mobile technology.
CIOs who have been outfitting all kinds of organizations with mobile solutions are likely to understand the reasoning behind the English police force’s choice to make this technology a top priority. While private businesses around the globe may be using these gadgets and associated applications to increase communication within their companies, this department is aiming to employ these innovations as a means to drive interaction with their citizens.
The source explained that at the moment, the Met has a steady flood of calls streaming into their department throughout the year. All of these calls offer pieces of invaluable information – whether it be with regards to reporting a new crime or providing leads on existing cases. However, members of the MPS may encounter issues when it comes to documenting the wealth of information bombarding their officers on such a regular basis. Likewise, civilians could potentially encounter problems reaching personnel to tip them off or relay other vital information.
Having identified this need, the London police department has decided to overcome such hurdles by gradually implementing mobile solutions to ensure that they can log and access critical data. Additionally, citizens can submit information via mobile channels, which could boost convenience and encourage more people to actively participate in these practices. In the end, this increased engagement may contribute to greater efficiency in terms of combating crime.
“We are going to use technology to stop crime, arrest offenders or help victims,” stated Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, as cited by ComputerWeekly. “We need to keep police officers out of police stations and reduce bureaucracy. Digital policing will help us to do this.”
Crime fighting – there’s an app for that
The plan released by MPS included a wide array of tech functions to be used to boost efficiency. For example, it is expected to develop public apps that would allow officers to access public information about a crime, compose police reports digitally and document evidence at crime scenes, in addition to many other functions.
“Our new agile ways of working will allow for shorter delivery lead times, whilst more flexible contracts with a tougher governance approach will ensure the technology we buy is ‘roadworthy’ and stays fit for purpose in the years ahead,” said Met CIO Richard Thwaite, according to the source.
The Daily Express revealed that these innovative solutions will be available to 15,000 frontline officers who will be equipped with tablets. Ultimately, this plan could end up saving the department £60 million each year by cutting down on unneeded bureaucracy and enabling policemen to work effectively in the field, rather than having to spend time in the office doing paperwork or other tasks that could impede their abilities to crack a case. With such significant results promised by the adoption of mobile technology, other law enforcement organizations could be making similar moves, which would require the help of skilled CIOs to install and manage them.