New police funding paves the way for advanced digital investigation technology
Nottinghamshire Police is to benefit from almost £3m of funding to be invested into advanced technology to help fight crime, it has been revealed.
The Force will receive financial support to fund a series of improved investigation facilities following a successful bid by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping for a slice of the Home Office’s Innovation Fund for 2015-16.
The funding will support new collaborative projects involving various forces in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and in one case Derbyshire.
The bulk of the funding (£1.355m) will be used to develop the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS) Mobile Working partnership agreement which has seen the Force merging resources allocated to Roads Policing, Armed Policing, Police Dogs and POLSA search teams into one unit to address the threats posed regionally.
A new mobile ICT system is required to ensure officers within all four forces have access to real-time information to make critical decisions and can update systems at any time and from any location while out on operation. This would require remote access to email, video conferencing capabilities and information-sharing.
The new ICT platform will increase the time police officers can spend on the frontline by reducing the need for frequent trips back to base as well as reducing duplication. It is anticipated that the new mobile working arrangements will enable officers to spend up to 20% more time in the field, significantly increasing visibility.
The Home Office has awarded a further £1.267m to help fund a new integrated ICT system enabling the regional forces to record and share intelligence on non-crime incidents that cannot be recorded as offences but could be vitally important for intelligence purposes.
The new technology will enhance the force’s public protection capabilities, and improve the way in which the region as a whole can proactively safeguard vulnerable children and adults and respond to those at risk. It is estimated detections could rise by up to 2% (the equivalent of 1,750 cases) through supportive evidence across the forces.
Finally, the Home Office has awarded £100,000 to forces in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire towards the cost of a new Digital Lab within the East Midlands Special Operations Unit.
The investment will enhance the unit’s e-forensic examination capabilities and ability to investigate offences in relation to cybercrime, online child sexual exploitation, serious and organised crime and terrorism. It is hoped the new technology will significantly improve evidence-gathering in sophisticated online crimes.
Announcing the funding success, Commissioner Tipping said: “I am delighted that the Home Office has recognised the good work Nottinghamshire is undertaking with its colleagues regionally to improve crime investigation and strengthen our response to new emerging risks such as child sexual exploitation and cybercrime.
“Although we were not successful in all our bids, the combined sum of the successful funding awards is almost £3m which is certainly to be welcomed at a time when we are all facing crippling budgets with little cash available to meet the increasingly sophisticated nature of criminality. Let’s not also forget that these projects will help us to reduce our costs in the future, boost police visibility which is something all our communities want and provide greater value for the taxpayer.”
The Home Office has allocated more than £94,000 to the EMOpSS for the procurement and implementation of Body-Worn Video for police officers. This funding was allocated last year and is simply being reassigned to the unit as a result of an unavoidable delay in delivery of the equipment.
The Police Innovation Fund is designed to incentivise collaboration, support improved digital working and enable Police and Crime Commissioners to invest in a range of innovative delivery approaches that have the potential to improve policing and deliver further efficiency.
The Home Office has received 166 bids to the 2015/16 fund of which 71 have been successful amounting to £70m of funding.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012
Posted on Friday 27th March 2015