The Home Secretary has awarded £23m to projects that will drive the transformation of policing in England and Wales.
The projects have been awarded funding through the Police Transformation Fund, which is police-led through the Police Reform and Transformation Board. The successful bids, from 10 forces and the College of Policing, include projects to support the transfer of digital crime scene images between forces, add new technology to the child abuse image database, improve procurement and collaboration, and fund a network of coordinators, analysts and prevention officers for the child sexual abuse national action plan.
Set up as part of the Spending Review in 2015, the fund is designed to allocate extra investment to policing in order to continue police reform and transform policing by introducing new and more efficient technology and capabilities to help forces respond to changing crimes and threats.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said, “Our police do a fantastic job every day fighting crime and keeping communities safe. The latest figures show that public confidence in the police has risen and most people believe they are doing a good or excellent job.
“But the job of reforming the police must continue and these successful bids demonstrate exactly the kind of transformative thinking that we expect from forces, with creative plans which will enable them to be more efficient and serve their communities more effectively. While 10 forces will lead on the work, we expect these pioneering projects will benefit all 43 police forces across England and Wales.
“The police transformation fund is incentivising policing to meet future challenges, and I am delighted by the strong early response to the launch of the fund from Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables – it is clear that they share my passion and determination to finish the job of police reform.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners say that police-led transformation projects receiving funding from the Home Office is a positive start to the process of reforming policing.
Julia Mulligan, Chair of the Police Reform and Transformation Board, and PCC for North Yorkshire, said, “Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Chief Constables are committed to transforming the way policing is delivered to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of the public. Working closely with other senior policing leaders as the Police Reform and Transformation Board, we welcome the opportunities given to us via the Transformation Fund and are using that money to radically improve services.
“Bids vary in the outcomes they hope to deliver, and this money from the Home Office is being used on specific projects but also on national systems with a view to bringing policing as a whole closer together.
“This work will continue for years to come, but the successful bids as confirmed today are an excellent start to this very important work.”
The total funding available for police transformation in 2016 to 2017 is £76.4m, including £34m already allocated to enhance armed policing capability, £4.6m for police digital programmes and £3m for a programme to consider how best to organise specialist police capabilities such as armed and roads policing.
The successful bids announced on 5 August include:
- £2.224m in 2016 to 2017 for Nottinghamshire Police, in collaboration with Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, for a project to eliminate duplication between forces and ensure they to have access to a larger pool of information to help officers make faster and more informed decisions (a further £3.536m will be available to the project in 2017 to 2018)
- £1.5m in 2016 to 2017 for Hampshire Constabulary, in collaboration with Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley, to improve information sharing between forces through a digital platform (this digital capability will provide a better service to communities, speed up prosecutions and assist with keeping victims updated)
- £280,000 for West Yorkshire Police in 2016 to 2017, with a further £420,000 in 2017 to 2018 to explore solutions to enable a crime scene image such as a fingerprint and footwear print to be digitally transmitted from the crime scene to speed up analysis
- £1.62m in 2016 to 2017 awarded to Norfolk Constabulary, with a further £2.44m in 2017 to 2018, to continue to fund regional police national action plan coordinators and analysts to combat child sexual abuse and exploitation.