Achieving outcomes together – lessons from the Police Digital Summit by Jon Graham

In the first of our law enforcement series, Triad Senior Consultant and Business Development Manager Jon Graham talks about his trip to this year’s Police Digital Summit.

Achieving Outcomes Together

After two years in a virtual format, the 2022 summit was held physically, at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole, on 12 – 13 May. And for the first time, Triad Group Plc were an official sponsor.

Jointly hosted by the Police Digital Service (PDS) and the National Police Technology Council (NPTC), the theme of this year’s event was ‘Achieving outcomes together’. The summit focussed on the National Policing Digital Strategy and its ability to develop and deliver digital solutions that will transform the working practices of the UK police workforce, bring more offenders to justice and improve police forces services for the public.

Stephen Mold, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire and PDS Chair, opened the event, explaining that he “Wanted to make sure that we are having that conversation about the capability and the technical knowledge that we have got at force level, to make our communities safer.”

Collaboration is key

Bethan Page-Jones, Head of Capabilities Reform at the Home Office, spoke about the positive working relationships between the Police Digital Service, Home Office, Operational Policing and the Police and Crime Commissioners. She talked about the National Enabling Programme (NEP) as an example of this success. The NEP was created to introduce a secure platform together with national standards that enable new ways of working and collaboration for the 43 police forces that make up policing across England and Wales. Bethan explained how these groups collaborate to understand how national digital policing programmes fit together. This is music to my ears; if the UK is to capitalise on the technical knowledge and insight of 43 police forces and many different stakeholders then communication and collaboration are essential.

The power of data

Having started her career in geospatial, just like myself, I was keen to hear the talk given by Edwina Dunn, OBE. Edwina gave an interesting talk on the power of data. She should know, having launched the Tesco Clubcard! Edwina said that the Police “Can learn from brands in building trust and brand reputation with consumers or citizens. That means they have to understand the ‘give’ and the ‘get’. The people give their data. What do they get for it? Better policing, safer streets, whatever it is, let’s make it clear.” Edwina also encouraged the audience to empower more women to work in this largely male-dominated industry, something that Triad has got fully behind.

Addressing the challenge of violent crime and rape.

Georgie Henley, Head of Justice & Emergency Services at TechUK, chaired the panel on what I regard as the most important discussion of the event. Published figures show that only 1.4% of reported rapes in 2019/20 resulted in a charge. Tony Blaker QPM is leading on this issue from a PDS perspective to bring the policing and technology community together to do what we can to solve this challenge. Having attended other related discussions on this topic and feeling the energy from those leading the way, you feel that change is possible, and we can start to make strides to get victims the justice they deserve.

Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce

Richard Cariss, Head of Information Services for Derbyshire Constabulary and NPTC Deputy Chair, discussed the challenges of attracting, recruiting, and retaining a skilled technical workforce in policing. Richard emphasised the need to bring women into technology whilst also providing staff skills for the future. He encouraged police forces to attract quality candidates by highlighting how the police can use cutting edge technology to support ongoing mission-critical work such as violence against women and girls. This panel was of particular interest to me as many of our clients have voiced the same concerns.  The ability from Triad to help them bridge this gap with our consultants and delivery teams has proven invaluable to their delivery of Digital, Data and Technology programmes.

The big picture

Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC), closed the event with a look at the national landscape. He explained that “So much crime is now delivered digitally and that many people are more at risk in the virtual world than the real world”. Martin said, “Policing needs to meet that challenge. There is so much potential to make our world better and more effective (through digital), but we need to assess the challenges too.”

Energy and power

I agree with Martin. The energy in the room gave me the belief that these discussions and debates had a positive impact on everyone that attended. I am already looking forward to getting back in the room next year, with this influential group that collectively holds the power to achieve outcomes together. Thank you to Ian Bell and Darren Scates, who did a fantastic job hosting the event and to the rest of the event ops team, who ran an efficient timetable and worked tirelessly to make this summit happen.

We hope that you have found this blog useful. If you are interested in our law enforcement work or have a question for the Triad Policing and National Security team, please contact Jon Graham – or 07912490295.

Note: Achieving Outcomes Together was held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole on 12 – 13 May 2022. Triad Group Plc were proud to be one of the event sponsors.