Image of 2 British police officers in high visibility yellow jacket
Chapter 4

Understanding the art of the possible

As we have seen in the previous sections, there have been several instances of IT projects failing to deliver. For many forces, this may cause a certain reluctance to instigate change. While understandable, overcoming this inertia is imperative to driving through the changes that will deliver a force fit for the future: reducing administration, ending duplication and, ultimately, putting officers back on the streets.

This more visible policing is not only beneficial in terms of increased public confidence, it has a positive effect on the bottom line. For example, Understanding the art of the possible analysis carried out by the London School of Economics showed that double crewing more than pays for itself. For every £1 spent, forces see a return of £2.75 and detection rates improve by 44% (9)

In the podcast, Andy Venter, Head of Public Sector at HSO, addresses this reluctance. Organisations may be bound by legacy IT contracts for several years but, as he explains, they must be able to, “wrap technology around what they’ve already got.” Modern ERP applications are able to exploit technological advances such as cloud computing. Forces are able to implement incrementally, with each iteration made at a time to suit their individual budget and requirements. The latest solutions, such as Microsoft’s Power Platform, are designed to work above the legacy infrastructure, leveraging the existing technology across the whole organisation. Wholesale replacement is no longer necessary. By making full use of what they already have, forces can drive the value out of every pound they spend.

As before, evolution not revolution is key. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Today’s low-code solutions are designed to be deployed as needed, at a pace that suits their own specific requirements. However, taking the first step is important. As Andy Venter says, “Don’t be afraid. Take small stages.” The policing mission is widening. Focusing resources is becoming more important by the day. It’s crucial to start the journey.

Advances in areas such as cloud computing allow individual forces to implement solutions incrementally, at a pace that suits their own needs and budgets. Proof of concept trials can be easily undertaken. Designed to be scalable, modern ERP platforms allow multiple systems to operate within a strong framework. Solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be quickly and easily deployed without the need for a large investment in IT infrastructure.

HM Government’s Minister for Crime and Policing

Listening to forces and cutting unnecessary red tape will mean police officers can focus on solving crime and delivering justice for victims, as well as preventing it from happening in the first place. We are confident that we will reach our target to have the most police officers in history. With less unnecessary admin, we want them to be our most effective police officers in history too.

A picture of a British mounted police

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Microsoft Technology for Police Forces

Microsoft Technology for Police Forces

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