How Could Policing Be Improved With Digital Innovation?

Humberside Police has joined the C4DI community to explore ways that it can use technology and data to innovate and improve its service to the region.

Representatives from the force are coming down to our building on Thursday 13 June to host an Elevensies, where they'll be an opportunity to discuss ways in which digital could help the force be more effective, in an informal setting (alongside plenty of tea and cake).  

Joe Broderick, Digital Innovation Coordinator at Humberside Police

Joe Broderick, Digital Innovation Coordinator at Humberside Police

"We have become members of C4DI to work together with the great minds and companies in our local tech innovation hub," Digital Innovation Coordinator Joe Broderick tells us.

"The police force is - of course - a traditional organisation, but policing has changed significantly over the years. Today, our officers are equipped with mobile phones and laptops and are more likely to be seen working from a high street café or the inside of their car than a police station."

Humberside Police has been serving the people of Northern Lincolnshire, Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire for almost 50 years. The area is very diverse, stretching as far north as Bridlington, across to the Isle of Axholme and down to the outskirts of Grimsby.

"Some of the main challenges we face as a police force are due to the sheer variety of the areas we cover, each with their own local authorities, which are bound by different policies, legislation and use different software systems."

Humberside Police

The team at Humberside Police want to explore how they can use technology to simplify processes to make their work more effective in serving the people in the community.

"One of our core aims is to be more visible on our streets," Joe continues.

"Using automation for some of the more manual, paper-heavy processes enables police officers more time to do vital work in our region. We're also looking into a chatbot, which can help guide people when filling out complex forms."

Joe is hoping that the Elevensies event opens up a conversation around how the police force could streamline what they do with technology.

"Most people have had some experience with the police, whether it's to give a statement, report a crime, or something else. We want to know if people have any ideas on how processes could be improved with tech."

A body worn video camera used by Humberside Police.

A body worn video camera used by Humberside Police.

Some areas Humberside Police are keen to look into are robotics, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, they are already working on a digital transformation project that reduces the amount of time for evidence to be processed and analysed.

TreadMatch is currently in development and digitises the process of examining people's footprints.

"Usually, we use a large ink pad and sheet of paper that the person stands on. We then send these paper results to the lab to be analysed. This method can take a lot of time, due to the physical delivery and manual processes involved.”

With TreadMatch - a digital pressure pad - results will be fed back from the lab in a fraction of the time. What's more, once a layer of automation is built between TreadMatch and the National Footwear Database, results will be received almost instantaneously, which could be crucial when gathering evidence for a case.

"Our aim is to be a leader within technology, innovating everything from our front-line policing to our back office functions," he adds.

"We are looking forward to hosting our first Elevensies event and are currently planning some interactive activities so that people can get up close and personal with some of our equipment."

You can find out more about Humberside Police and their digital transformation projects at our next Elevensies event on Thursday 13 June.

Visit the Humberside Police website to discover more about what they do.

In the meantime, if your organisation would like to discuss how it can use digital to innovate, get in touch with our Community Manager