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The police can learn from the private sector about innovating to deliver outcomes on a tight budget, a Government minister told senior police last month.
The days of the police being suspicious of the private sector should be over, Home Office minister Damian Green Speech told the annual Superintendents’ Conference on Wednesday, September 11. He said: “Examples such as Avon and Somerset’s joint venture with local authorities and IBM to provide support services; Cleveland Police’s partnership with Steria; or Lincolnshire Police’s partnership with G4S, have all show that working with the private sector is very much alive. Money can be saved whilst still ensuring that crime is cut.
But it’s not just about working with the private sector, it’s also about taking on some of that private sector culture. You must be uncompromising in your use of resources, unyielding in your resolution to deliver. This doesn’t have to mean working longer or harder, but it should mean working smarter. I firmly believe that neighbourhood policing can and will be preserved through the innovation and ingenuity of forces in changing the way that they work to deliver the same or better outcomes with less.”
In a sign of how BYOD (bring your own device) has become widespread at work, Damian Green addressed what he called a myth circulating in some police forces that the only mobile device they can use is a BlackBerry. “In many instances, it is perfectly legitimate for officers to use their own mobile devices, such as for taking a photograph, or using an information app.”
Where a more secure device is needed, a BlackBerry is not the only solution, he added. “CESG – the government’s communication security advisors – have already issued guidance on Apple products and will soon add the wider range of top mobile devices. “Of course, it’s not just about the devices themselves, it’s about having apps that make the devices useful to officers in a range of circumstances. With that in mind, the ICT Company is creating an app store and will be working with the College [of Policing] to understand how to turn guidance into apps, and how to quality assure apps that developers create themselves. This will save your officers time, ensuring that they have a range of innovative apps easily accessible, providing them with support, guidance and information when they’re on the beat.”