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Police ICT Summit 2018: Innovations transforming our service

By Steve Norris, Managing Partner for Home Affairs, O2.

O2 were one of the proud sponsors of this year’s Police ICT Summit. This annual event allows stakeholders in policing to come together and discuss how technology can be used to enable transformational reform in policing and blue light services.

Looking to the future and making an impact

This year, the Summit looked to the future and demonstrated what a transformed service should look like, as well as looking at the innovations that might aid this transformation. We know that technological developments are taking place across the country in our Police Forces and they are adding value. We’ve pulled out some of the big examples of innovation and key topics discussed.

 Collaboration and connectivity is increasing time spent on the frontline

At the Summit, O2 spoke about how our service solution has contributed to Derbyshire Constabulary’s front line policing effectiveness. As part of an on-going drive to deliver flexible mobile working across the public sector, O2 has helped to bring more officers to the frontline, increasing their time in the community. By equipping 1,500 police officers with new smartphones and applications, we have helped to transform paper-based tasks into efficient digital processes, saving valuable time by synchronising any information captured on the frontline with back office systems. This has allowed officers to process information anywhere and at any time. It’s an excellent example of how collaboration and connectivity can enable true flexibility and efficiency cost savings through streamlined work processes.

We have also facilitated similar digitalisation over several clients with over 11,000 officers now working smarter and more efficiently while spending more time in the community. Surrey and Sussex Police are another example of how this service has improved officer efficiency and increased their visibility to the public, read more about this case study here.

The emergence of biometrics capabilities in identification processes

There was also lot of insight shared on the home office initiative to equip officers with Biometric capabilities Fingerprint scanners are now available to frontline officers to confirm the identity of people stopped in the public. This could be a real game changer for frontline officers and aide the apprehension of people that have skipped bail or not appeared in court as examples.

Social media as a contact channel for citizens

We also heard from the Digital Public Contact (DPC) on their proposal to provide a single online ‘home’ for citizen engagement with the added benefit of making social media a contact channel. Digital First will will also deliver a digital evidence transfer service for case file information and support video enabled justice. These are some great examples of programmes that will positively impact engagement with Police and operational Police work.

But where are we at with 5G?

Surprisingly, 5G was not mentioned at all during both days of the Summit. We know that 5G has been mooted as a next generation technology that will accelerate both transformation and positive change across the UK. Our own research tells us that an effective rollout will add over £7 billion a year to the economy by 2026.

Businesses and consumers alike will benefit from increased speeds and greater capacity. But whilst 5G has the potential to offer a range of unprecedented benefits – from remote healthcare applications to connected cars and smart cities – these benefits are some way off. And, more importantly, we won’t be able to reap the rewards of these benefits unless we lay the right foundations now.

To deliver digital transformation, partnerships are needed between operators, national and local government, enterprise and communities. At O2, we invest more than £2 million every day towards improving our network infrastructure throughout the UK. By working together to accelerate the rollout of digital infrastructure, we can meet the demands of our customers, encourage economic prosperity and prepare the UK – its households and its businesses – for the digital future.


O2 has been constantly reimagining how people work for the last 30 years, and we are always looking for new and better ways to help businesses. If you would like more information, please get in touch to schedule an innovation session.

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