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Essex and Kent Police Forces: Saving time by using mobile technology to access records and file reports

Essex and Kent police forces needed to make the most of mobile technology to become more efficient. Frontline officers could access crime data direct, instead of radio-ing colleagues at stations. They’d also be able to file reports on their work while on the move. The two forces estimated such technology would save them around one hour per officer in every shift.

They needed to add more detailed analysis to a business case to present to the Police & Crime Commissioners, who held the budget. They wanted to be clear on the benefits and to demonstrate how the new equipment would link up with the emergency services’ new mobile network when it goes live. And they needed to include evidence to show the procurement would save time.

We combined our knowledge of policing, mobile technology, commercial issues and the public sector’s five case model for business cases to help them. We also drew on our earlier work advising on the new Emergency Services Network. By taking a system-wide view of all the technology and services required we were able to identify and explain in detail:

  • why the forces needed mobile technology
  • why the forces’ preferred option was best
  • how they would contract with a provider
  • what it would cost, and
  • how the forces would manage the use of the smartphones day-to-day.

We then helped create outline and full business cases for procuring the technology, including 4,200 smartphones. The software effectively functions like an app, giving officers access to records systems. The two forces are now using the technology, and we’ve worked with them to develop a strategy for monitoring and measuring the benefits.

Contact the policing, justice and borders team