National cybercrime pilot among police innovation projects to receive slice of £80m government funding

Other schemes include £11.5m for ‘video-enabled justice’ and creation of online hub to combat hate crime in the capital

Among the projects to receive funding is a £3m scheme to roll out digital case file technology across 12 forces

The government has announced in excess of £80m in funding for police tech and innovation projects, including a pilot of Galvanise – a scheme which aims to create a “nationally networked” infrastructure to help local forces prevent and detect cybercrime.

The Home Office has published details of the latest array of projects to receive backing from the Police Transformation Fund spending pot. Since the last set of figures were released, a total of 26 further initiatives have been handed cumulative funding of £28m for the 2017/18 year, in the third round of money released by the fund. A total of £31.7m has already been committed to these schemes for the coming two years. 

The Gloucestershire Constabulary is heading the Galvanise project, which aims to create a “locally deployed, nationally networked proof of concept [exercise] to develop, defend, and deter cyber and internet-facilitated crime”. This initiative will be given funding of £524,500 in 2017/18 and a further £170,000 next year. Police forces in Durham, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Derbyshire, and the City of London are also taking part in the project.

Other projects unveiled this week include a scheme to equip the police forces of Sussex, Surrey, Kent, and the Metropolitan Police in London, with “video-enabled justice technology”. This would allow defendants to appear in court remotely, without leaving police custody. Backing of £3.8m has been pledged to this programme in the current fiscal year, with a further £4.2m and £3.5m to follow in 2018/19 and 2019/20, respectively.

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The North Yorkshire and Northumbria forces are undertaking a similar initiative, in which a “mobile live links van” could allow victims and witnesses who live in remote areas to appear in court via video. This project will receive upfront funding of £302,540. 

Elsewhere, total of 12 police forces will receive £500,000 this year and £1.25m in each of the next two years for a scheme to design and roll out digital case files.

Also unveiled this week were details of a further £23.6m in investment from the Police Innovation Fund. This money has been pledged to a cumulative total of 36 projects.

These include a £876,394 scheme for Kent Police to install a new digital asset management system, and £510,030 for Bedfordshire Police to build a platform for gathering evidence and managing resources in cases of cyber-harassment.

Leicestershire Police has been handed £1.5m to build “digital capability and capacity” across the East Midlands region. Lancashire Police, meanwhile, will receive £606,995 to create “a multi-agency information-sharing IT system and digital-briefing IT system”. 

Devon and Cornwall Police will get upwards of £1m to create a digital platform to deliver training and other services to volunteer police cadets. Elsewhere, the Metropolitan Police is to create an “online hate crime hub”, at a cost of £208,378.


Sam Trendall

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