The world of technology is undeniably fast paced, with police forces around the UK challenged to better embrace digital transformation – and quickly.
In the National Policing Digital Strategy 2020-2030, the Police Digital Service (PDS) highlights how policing is at a ‘critical juncture’. Forces must start increasing their reliance on technology, or risk missing the opportunity to modernise their services altogether.
Existing and emerging technologies are ready and waiting to help police forces enhance their internal processes and citizen engagement, and organisations like Node4 can go one step further, building apps or tailoring solutions to meet a force’s specific requirements or helping them to overcome recurring challenges.
Here, we explore three key benefits modern digital technology can deliver to support UK police forces, and aid their efforts to better serve their communities.
Provide a more seamless citizen experience
Providing a smooth and more efficient service for citizens is a key focus for forces up and down the country making the need to gain maximum value from digital technologies a priority.
Modern contact centre technology can give forces a single, centralised hub to manage all lines of communication, from popular messenger tools like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger through to online chat, email and phone.
By making it easier for contact centre personnel to oversee multiple channels, forces can offer the public a wider variety of ways to get in touch – and the ability to contact the police using a familiar platform may increase the likelihood of people reaching out when needed, such as coming forward with key information relating to a case, for example.
A centralised hub can also help give contact centre teams a single view of the citizen. Access to past interactions associated with a person or case equips them with the information they need to deliver a more concise update, and saves citizens the time and frustration of repeating information to different members of the team each time they get in touch.
Give officers back time
For police forces, automation and handy, purpose-built apps can be used to give officers and support staff back time to spend policing the streets and focusing on other high priority tasks.
Digital pocket notebooks and dedicated apps for recording witness statements and other crime scene information are perfect for easing the administrative burden officers face; information is captured and stored in a central location for access on the go and back at headquarters, preventing the need to double or even triple-key data.
Meanwhile, automation can drive efficiency in the contact centre space, with the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform’s intelligent routing making it possible to prioritise callers in need, alongside redirecting misguided or nuisance callers away from 101 non-emergency lines.
Harness data to help tackle crime
With an increased reliance on digital technologies comes a greater amount of data – and, if used correctly, that data can have a big impact on policing strategy and, ultimately, help tackle crime.
Analysts can use real-time dashboards, reporting and analytics to inspect their force’s data and identify recurring risks, crime trends, hotspots and more. Insights gathered can then play a part in increasing operational efficiencies, and reducing crime rates by informing early interventions and targeted, proactive policing activity and campaigns.