Funding provided to support digital innovation

FORCEWIDE

28 Jul 2020

A team striving to bring about digital improvements within the force has been further backed by Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter with a one million pound investment.

The Digital Innovation Fund has been given to the force specifically to help bring about changes that speed up processes and help ensure that we are providing the best possible service to our communities.

Originally launched last year (2019) the team work hard to find more efficient digital ways to collate information and conduct enquiries.

Already they have been responsible for a number of initiatives that have helped make this smoother and quicker for our teams, enabling officers to get out on the beat more and do their admin work on the go – ensuring the best possible service is delivered for our communities.

Deputy Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “This fund is fantastic news for the force and will help us continue to tighten up our processes giving our teams more time and making it easier for the public to interact with us, helping to progress our investigations. 

“It’s really important to us that we are at the forefront of digital innovation, using the wealth of technology now available to us to make sure that we are doing our jobs as efficiently as possible and delivering the best possible service to our communities.

“By adopting the use of technologies early, we can ensure Humberside Police are at the forefront of innovative, digital solutions in UK policing.

“I'm excited to seeing what this additional money can help us achieve as we move forward, using it to ensure we are harnessing the power of digital technology to give the best possible protection to our communities.

“It is a really exciting time and I look forward to seeing what else this funding will help us to achieve as a force.”  

PCC Keith Hunter said: “Ensuring our communities have the best possible policing to create an ever-safer environment is a hugely complex challenge. During my tenure we have seen Humberside Police grow by over 500 more officers, the Force has received its best ever inspection results and morale is now the best in the country, but we should never be satisfied we are as good as we can be. The Chief Constable must be supported to deliver the movement to the next level of sustainable excellence. For that the Force needs to be at the forefront of innovation, ensuring improved outcomes for the public. Creating this fund is a critical next step on that journey to excellence and I will be ensuring it provides real value for money in increased effectiveness and efficiency.”   

The Digital Innovation Team have already introduced a number of initiatives that have helped us improve our processes.

They have recently introduced a system that allows officers to conduct online video appointments completely securely, rather than having to see people face to face.

This has been really important in recent months, with the Covid-19 related restrictions, as it has meant that even during lockdown our teams have been able to continue with their work, investigating crime and taking action against those responsible.

Not only does it make it easier for people to find time for appointments amongst busy work, home and social commitments, it will also potentially make it easier for those that are vulnerable or have conditions that make going into a police station more difficult. They will now be able to speak to officers from the comfort of their own home, where appropriate. 

As the software is relatively new, we are working hard to make improvements and ensure it is being used to its best possible potential, as it is something that will continue to benefit our teams and members of the public as we come out of lockdown.

Another introduction that has helped make things easier for our teams and members of the public alike, is software that enables documents to be signed online and emailed completely securely in a matter of minutes. Previously these documents had to be posted out to people and then also returned via post, which could often take days.

Not only has this made it easier for all involved, it has also helped speed up our investigations helping officers to make arrests quicker and in some cases putting people before the courts sooner too.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has also recently been brought to the force by the team, helping to lessen the burden of admin work for officers and staff by creating automated computer processes where suitable. 

This is already helping us to speed up processes and reduce the work load for our teams, meaning that they have more time in their working day to get on with the other stuff they need to do - be that patrolling the beat, progressing investigations, speaking to victims or the many other tasks that our team take on. We are currently consulting with staff and officers to find working practices that RPA can assist with and look forward to rolling it out further in the future.

The team have also been busy hosting events, attended by volunteers from across the force, to gather ideas for further digital developments to help improve the service we deliver.