New and creative ideas to make policing more effective are to be encouraged through changes to the Police Innovation Fund, Policing Minister Mike Penning has announced.
For 2016/17 the multi-million pound fund will consider proof-of concept bids as well as implementation-ready bids in a move designed to reward more breakthrough ideas than ever before. The change will mean police forces will be able to seek funding to assess an innovative idea, as well as fully worked through proposals. This will allow for more funding to be targeted at ideas coming from the grassroots of policing at a much earlier stage.
Mike Penning, Minister for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice & Victims, said, “By opening it up to proof-of-concept bids, forces can seek funding to develop an interesting new idea or approach which could drive innovation, collaboration and ultimately make the police more efficient at doing their jobs. I particularly want to see forces working together this year to develop bids and genuinely explore new concepts and technology.
“Implementation-ready bids are especially welcome in the following areas: technology-enabled public contact and communication channels to improve public interaction; enhanced workforce efficiency to improve criminal justice outcomes; digital forensic and investigative capabilities to quickly identify offenders; data analytics and intelligence-led activity to improve decision-making and tasking to enable crime prevention; rethinking partnership and emergency services working to provide a better public service; and building capabilities to tackle hidden crime and protect vulnerable people.
By supporting increased efficiency and collaboration between different police forces, the Police Innovation Fund will help forces save around £250m over the next five years and thousands of hours of police time.
The assessment criteria for this year’s bids have been revised to reflect the increased emphasis on bids, which improve outcomes and can be scaled nationally.