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New technologies are changing the face of UK policing

From trolling to cyber attacks, the digital world has created new ways to break the law. But it also presents opportunities for those who uphold it. Police can engage with the public more efficiently, better predict and prevent crime and share evidence more seamlessly.

Throughout 2018, we supported the Digital Policing Portfolio (DPP), which focuses on delivering digital capabilities to police forces across England and Wales. Together, we’ve been developing and delivering the technology to help UK policing tackle the issues – and opportunities – that they face.

A platform for policing

The first solution we’ve worked with the DPP to launch is ‘Single Online Home’ (SOH). SOH is a new national platform that offers the public a consistent way of engaging with their local force and accessing police services online, including reporting offences, applying for licences and finding details of crime in their area.

SOH offers the public a clear way to interact with their force. For the police, it enables them to deal with low-level crime and incidents more efficiently and, in the longer term, help ease resource and funding pressures.

Of the 43 forces in England and Wales, 41 have signed up to on-board to the service and, as at July 2019, 17 of those are already fully or partially live. This means 40 per cent of the population – more than 23 million citizens – can now use SOH to access their local force. 50,000 online forms are already being submitted per month by members of the public.

Christy Hopkins, Deloitte Consulting senior manager, said, “Police forces continue to experience increases in demand for their services. Single Online Home is helping forces to manage that demand more efficiently and giving the public a modern way of contacting their local force.”

The platform was originally developed by London’s Metropolitan Police Service, but UK policing saw an opportunity to spread the benefits wider – and we were able to quickly deploy a range of skills and expertise, from technical resources to commercial and business change.

Liz Jones, technology partner within consulting, explained, “Our work with the DPP is about enabling policing to flexibly and efficiently improve and deploy solutions. Our approach has been based on big ambitions but starting small to see immediate improvements for the police and the public.”

A vision of the future

SOH is just one project that the DPP is delivering. There are more solutions in the pipeline for UK police forces, including improving the process for delivering evidence to court, how mobile technology can keep more police on the frontline, and equipping forces to deal with online crime.

Also, on behalf of the DPP, we have helped to set up the Digital Policing Accelerator to rapidly develop and test solutions that make the most of technologies including artificial intelligence and robotics. The Accelerator is currently looking at automating high-volume, transactional tasks and freeing up staff and officers to spend more time on other important activities.

Portfolio Director Hacer Evans said,“The Digital Policing Portfolio has a reputation for delivery in an environment where balancing transformational change with the operational realities of policing can be really challenging. Deloitte have been able to provide the technical skills and experience but, just as importantly, they understand policing and have been prepared to challenge their own thinking and adapt their approaches to fit into what is a complex, fast-moving space.”

“We are ambitious about what we want to achieve on behalf of policing and the public, and Deloitte have been able to support us in achieving that. Helping describe the vision for digital policing and setting-up the Digital Policing Accelerator as a new delivery model, are two really exciting examples.’’

Hacer Evans, Portfolio Director

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