Policing Goes Digital

West Yorkshire Police serves 2.2 million people living in one of the five metropolitan districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. The physical area of some 2,000km2 includes cities, towns, villages and rural locations, and is policed by over 5,000 front-line police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) making it the fourth largest force in the country.

The need for change – getting ready for the future of policing

West Yorkshire Police has embarked on the most significant change programme in its history. Like all forces, it faces budgetary challenges and must work smarter to achieve greater efficiencies and productivity, and enable a more flexible and fit-for-purpose estate (assets and resources).

This change programme calls for a radical overhaul of the force’s IT infrastructure. It is currently delivering mobile hand-held devices to allow officers to spend more time on the beat; introducing Wi-Fi to support agile working and hot-desking; as well as a force-wide roll out of body-worn cameras.

"We’re effectively moving from a traditional and analogue environment to an increasingly digital one,” says Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle of West Yorkshire Police.

If you consider the transition utilities have made from being Victorian organisations to 21st century entities, this is the same scale of transformation policing is undergoing today

Business drivers

The Chief Officer Team (COT) for West Yorkshire Police conceived the Digital Mobile Policing programme to realise its vision of transforming policing with real-time access to information and the ability to complete business processes on mobile devices. Crucially, they needed a technology that would allow them to work offline even without any connectivity and synchronise data later.

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