Digital Can Transform Crime-Fighting and Save Millions – West Midlands Police Case Study Reveals £800K Savings Using Facewatch

14 December 2016: techUK has today released its latest report, Digital Policing: The  of Modern Crime Prevention which highlights where technology can crucially support the ambitions in The Home Office’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy.  The report outlines the technology association’s vision for a technology-equipped and digitally skilled Police Force and makes clear recommendations on the tools that police forces, businesses and citizens can use to prevent crime. For example, implementing online reporting and submission of digital evidence (e.g. CCTV footage), could reduce police time spent on low-level reporting (which currently costs police about £130m a year) by at least 25%. And the less time the police spend driving to collect DVDs of CCTV footage the more time they can spend out on the beat protecting the public.

Similarly, live-streaming of CCTV footage in to control rooms and monitoring stations could dramatically reduce the £72 million that false alarms cost each year[i]. Remote verification of alarms would not only save time and money, it would improve situational awareness for first responders, the benefits of which are obvious when thought about in the context of the Hatton Garden heist or during public safety emergencies.

As the nature of crime changes, how we fight it must change too. To ensure the UK is best placed to tackle crime effectively, techUK’s new report calls for:

  • Use of Online Crime Reporting Tools to improve speed and efficiency crime reporting and reduce costs for police forces
  • Live-streaming of video footage to save police time and money, and improve situational awareness
  • Proliferation of digital identity technologies to improve online safety and reduce the impact of cybercrime
  • Police adoption of cloud-based systems to improve accessibility to data and systems
  • A comprehensive and structured approach to address the digital skills gap in policing
  • A smarter approach to procurement to ensure that Government and police forces are better able to access innovation.

Henry Rex, Programme Manager for Justice and Emergency Services at techUK, explains: “In The Home Office’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, the Government has rightly identified the significant role that tech can play in modernising how we tackle and prevent crime. With initiatives such as the Digital Policing Board and the Police Transformation Fund great strides have been made to ensure police are well equipped to tackle crime in the digital age. However, more needs to be done. Whether it’s accessing and embracing transformational technologies or developing the right digital skills set for officers, police must work with Government and industry to ensure they are best-placed to take advantage of innovative tech.

“It’s important to remember that crime prevention is not the sole responsibility of the police and Government. Businesses and citizens too must consider how they can use tech to reduce the impact of crime.  By working in partnership to implement our recommendations and further invest in new technologies, we can ensure the police and the public have the resources, capabilities and digital skills to combat crime in this digital age.”

The full report and recommendations can be found  <here>.


About techUK

techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. The tech industry is creating jobs and growth across the UK. In 2015 the internet economy contributed 10% of the UK’s GDP. 900 companies are members of techUK. Collectively they employ more than 700,000 people, about half of all tech sector jobs in the UK. These companies range from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups. The majority of our members are small and medium sized businesses.

techUK is committed to helping its members grow, by:

  • Developing markets
  • Developing relationships and networks
  • Reducing business costs
  • Reducing business risks.

About Justice & Emergency Services Programme

techUK’s Justice & Emergency Services programme represents nearly 250 companies of all sizes operating in the criminal justice and emergency services market. The group’s priorities are to: encourage the sharing of information across the sector with a particular focus on joining up the criminal justice system, enable closer working between end users and suppliers, lead the debate on new technologies and to encourage innovation and competition.



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