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Call for Input: Tech Priorities for HMIC

A request to members for their top priorities and questions for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Earlier this summer, the Home Affairs Select Committee published a report which stated that police procurement is 'clearly inefficient'. And in April a joint HMCPS and HMIC report on 'Delivering Justice in a Digital Age' found that different stakeholders within the Criminal Justice System (police, the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts and Tribunals Services) have been moving at different speeds to ensure their processes are digitised, and points out that at a “national level the police governance arrangements for implementing the various digital initiatives are too complicated and need to be simplified.” The report pointed out that some court digital systems have been introduced which “do not talk to each other, wasting resources when material has to be reinput and not providing full value for money.” But the report did reserved praise for those police forces who are working collaboratively to purchase IT systems and “reduce the difficulties of transferring material to the CPS.”

And so there are clearly issues around police procurement of technology that need to be addressed. As Sir Tom Winsor (Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary) pointed out in his State of Policing 2015 report, “in too many respects forces continue to purchase different equipment and applications with the consequence that there is only limited ability for one force’s systems to link effectively to another’s.” There is an overarching need for a coherent approach across policing, to minimise duplication, achieve economies of scale, ensure standardisation, and enhance interoperability.

In light of all this, techUK has secured a meeting with HMIC to explore how the industry can support efforts to improve procurement and implementation of IT systems. It occurs to us that there might be areas where we could support HMIC in investigations, helping document the situation, identifying the problems, framing questions, proposing strategies and providing guidance to forces within the scope of the HMIC inspection and audit regime.

So in advance of this meeting we are asking members to let us know their top 5 priorities for HMIC: what are the top issues members would like to see HMIC focussing on with regards to procurement and use of IT? Or, to put it another way, if you were HMIC, what would you be focussing on when inspecting forces?

Please email your top priorities and questions for HMIC to henry.rex@techuk.org by COP Thursday 23 September.

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