We will need to invest significantly in digital leadership and capabilities to deliver our transformation.
Based on current levels, over the next five years it is estimated that policing in England and Wales will spend between £7bn – £9bn on technology alone.
It is incumbent upon us all to deliver maximum value for money in how and where we direct these funds to achieve transformation.
It is recognised that policing’s current national decision-making mechanisms must improve if the
collaboration required to drive economies of scale across policing and national programmes is to be realised. The benefits will be tangible, from de-duplication of activity at the local level, greater consistency in the way that innovation is funded, through to increased realised benefit from some national programmes.
The improvement must be focussed on capability rather than structure; in how we distribute digital transformation capabilities across policing to serve the needs of the whole network, and of localities.
The diagram on page 19 illustrates the transformation capabilities we need to build and harness if we are to deliver this strategy. Some are specialist capabilities that will sit centrally, others will be more distributed, and force led. The definition of
this model is key, and needs to be completed in consultation during the proposed Mobilisation phase.
The question is whether we need a more streamlined, effective version of the governance structures that already exists, or whether something bolder is required.
For some enablers, the answer will be clear: developing a Policing Technology Blueprint to guide national programmes and force level convergence will be done centrally, whereas the assessment of existing system applications will be owned at force level. Other enablers will require further discussion and alignment, such as the development and enhancement of automation, analytics and AI capabilities. Innovation is another such capability. It is likely a hybrid model will be required that incentivises innovation from the centre, to reduce duplication and ensure scalability of innovative solutions, and supports new routes to experimentation at the local level.
The new model for service wide, digital transformation delivery must be ultimately accountable to PCCs and Chief Constables but it has to carry enough delegated authority to succeed.
It will be characterised by a pooling of sovereignty that is driven by a very clear intent; the
unlocking of local transformational outcomes in the most efficient and effective way possible.