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Case Study: Improving Knowledge Sharing Across UK Policing

The Police ICT Company teams up with South Yorkshire Police to support the sharing of problem-solving knowledge and notable practice across policing.


The Challenge

In 2017, South Yorkshire Police (SYP) was awarded funding from the Home Office to deliver a National Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme (Problem Solving Programme) to help transform ways of working across policing at a local, regional and national level, by embedding problem solving as a core discipline.

The Problem Solving Programme commissioned the Police ICT Company (the Company) to undertake a piece of discovery work, to understand how Problem Oriented Policing (POP) could be utilised effectively across UK police forces and how to better enable officers to share, collaborate and use POP where relevant to protect communities from harm and manage demand more effectively.

One of the biggest challenges identified was the lack of a central knowledge sharing platform for police forces to look to for best practice and to share information, processes and documentation.

The Solution

Prior to the formation of the Problem Solving Programme, the Police ICT Company had designed and built the Knowledge Hub – an online hub for UK police forces and organisations to collaborate and securely share information.

The Problem Solving Programme identified the capabilities and national reach of the Knowledge Hub as an enormous opportunity for POP.

Over several months, the Company and the Problem Solving Programme designed and built a set of additional features that would enable the Knowledge Hub to deliver the full functionality required of a central knowledge sharing platform for problem solving.

These new features would allow problem solving groups across UK policing to share notable practice, methodologies, templates, toolkits and lessons learned on a central, secure platform. They would also enable the Knowledge Hub to serve as an online portal for the Tilley Awards and Goldstein Awards submissions.

“Since the development work the Police ICT Company was able to carry out in collaboration with our Problem Solving team, the Knowledge Hub has become the cornerstone of knowledge sharing for police and partners.” – Sally Briggs, Programme Lead, South Yorkshire Police, Problem Solving and Demand Reduction

Benefits to Policing

In joining forces with the Problem Solving Programme, the Company was able not only to help them meet the Home Office mandate, but also to adapt the Knowledge Hub in a way that would significantly benefit the whole of UK policing.

The following additional Knowledge Hub functionalities are now available to UK policing groups and organisations:

  • Search function, tabs and categories, to make it easier for individuals across the Knowledge Hub to find information
  • Personalised submission forms, to facilitate award entries, enquiries and polls
  • Ability to unlock own account without contacting Police ICT
  • Improved mobility, so that information can be accessed on the move
  • Improvements to make the site more accessible for new members
  • Improvements to assist group facilitators, including an analytics dashboard and post preview option
  • Online document collaboration

“The Knowledge Hub was created by the Police ICT Company to help UK police forces and organisations share information, discuss ideas and encourage greater collaboration. The Company is always evolving to meet the changing need of policing, and these new developments will benefit knowledge sharing and collaboration, not just across problem solving but the whole of UK policing.”Joe Kelly, Knowledge Hub Product Manager, the Police ICT Company.

Since the collaboration with the Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme, the Police ICT Company’s Knowledge Hub has grown to more than 28,000 users and 700 working groups. Most recently, the whole POLKA and College of Police community have transitioned to the Knowledge Hub.

In 2020, the Problem Solving Programme secured funding to continue its work for another year, under the new name of the Problem Solving and Crime Prevention Programme. The Programme continues to utilise the Knowledge Hub to showcase its work, and that of problem-solving professionals nationally.

Progressively, the Police ICT Company’s Knowledge Hub is becoming the go-to platform for policing communities across the UK, helping facilitate collaboration and the sharing of information and, ultimately, helping our police forces save money and lives.

Results in Numbers

14 active POP related groups on the Knowledge Hub

1,100 members across the 14 groups

Every UK police force is represented and collaborating across the 14 groups