Lack of tech integration in policing ‘a disgrace’, says Police Federation lead

Written by Sooraj Shah on 10 October 2018 in News
News

Annual survey of officers finds that inadequate IT is prevalent

Credit: Adobe Stock Images

Only half of UK police officers claim that they can rely on the data held on their force’s computer systems, according to the results of the annual Police ICT User Survey. 

The survey of 48 forces, and nearly 4,000 participants, was commissioned by police governance organisation CoPaCC, with the support of the Police Federation and the Police Federation of England & Wales, and the Police Superintendents’ Association and the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents. 

The subsequent damning report found that only two-thirds (65%) of officers were able to access a computer at work when they needed to, 63% were unhappy with the quality and timing of training they needed to use the equipment, and only 30% felt their force invested wisely in technology. Just 18% thought that their policing systems were well integrated. 

More than half – 55% – were not happy with their force’s overall ICT, with only two percent completely satisfied with their ICT services. 


Related content


The survey also allowed participants to answer open questions, and some of the answers went further in explaining the frustration felt by police staff when it came to ICT. 

One police staff member reiterated one of the common issues to plague police ICT for many years – of disparate systems which are not integrated, stating that she had to use up to 20 different police and external database systems, which meant an equal number of passwords and user names to keep track of. 

“As far as I’m aware, none of these systems are able to talk to one another,” she said. 

Simon Kempton, technology lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The overall picture is not a pretty one with officers trying to fight crime with out-of-date equipment which is not even compatible with the systems used in neighbouring forces. Procurement is also a massive issue, with millions being wasted on the wrong equipment. As one superintendent in the survey puts it, they take years developing systems which too often fail to deliver when off-the-shelf products would do so in 80-90% of cases right away.”

He added: “Poor training provision is another problem area, as is pointless duplication with officers forced to input the same data multiple times on separate systems. In 2018, when we are surrounded by virtual-reality products, people are using driverless cars and robots are carrying out life-saving operations, this lack of joined up functionality in policing is a disgrace.”

Despite the overwhelmingly negative responses, CoPaCC chief executive Bernard Rix said that in comparison to last year’s survey, there has been a “very slight improvement”, for example in providing more mobile devices. However, he emphasised that the picture was very similar to last year, which was “disappointing”. 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Failure to manage IT project cost Scottish pension agency millions
25 June 2019

Scottish Public Pensions Agency did not properly scrutinise Capita’s ‘abnormally low’ bid and failed to manage project says auditor

Northern Ireland prepares for three major IT projects
24 June 2019

Departments of finance and infrastructure publish information on land registration, finance and planning systems

Related Sponsored Articles

Lessons learned from business cases for SD-WAN
25 June 2019

BT has huge experience working with global multinationals on their business case for SD-WAN, and here they lay out a detailed understanding of the real benefits and challenges 

Unlocking the secret to people behaviour change
18 June 2019

This article from BT outlines how focusing on user experience can drive productivity, better engagement and attract the best talent

Connect for the best cloud experience
11 June 2019

Ensuring the right connectivity between hybrid networks and cloud services can be difficult. BT has provided free advice on how to balance the risk and reward of the cloud

Manage your multi-cloud environment
4 June 2019

It can be complicated managing a multi-cloud environment, so BT is providing a free ebook of tips to help you manage the risks and rewards