Nearly 400 outdated IT systems used by police in Staffordshire are being replaced with around 100 state-of-the-art ones as part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s ongoing investment in a “Tech Revolution”.
The recent announcement by Mr Ellis that Boeing has become the Strategic IT Partner for policing across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent means more information is now emerging on the scale of changes planned.
Boeing’s involvement will dramatically improve the capability of policing in Staffordshire whilst saving money on maintaining outdated, unsupported technology systems.
Mr Ellis said that some IT systems used by Staffordshire Police were bought in the 1990s with many unsupported by the original providers meaning the cost of keeping them going is massive and the risk of them failing is significant.
He said, “Back in 2013, like most members of the public, I assumed that police across the country were using cutting edge technology – the best money could buy, but that’s too often not the case.
“In Staffordshire, the plans I set out in 2013 to invest in technology were both to ensure day-to-day essential systems function but also to radically advance the capability of police to meet changing crime and changing threats.
“Last year’s roll-out of mobile technology to all officers means they have more flexibility in accessing police systems and getting information on the move rather than constantly heading back to base.
“That’s showing encouraging signs of a rise in visible policing whilst the new SPIRIT technology which is nearly completed means that for the first time ever control room staff can see on screen and in real-time where policing assets are across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.”
Mr Ellis says that whilst the work over the last two years is a major step forward, it is core systems around intelligence, management of information and connectivity with other law enforcement or security agencies that is essential.
He said, “Getting finances on track, setting out clear ambitions for what technology can do for policing in Staffordshire and building the right foundations in advance means we have been able to secure a world-class technology partner in Boeing.
“We live in a fast-changing world where crime investigation and prevention almost always has elements of technology involved with it and where criminals and victims can live continents apart rather than a few miles away.
“Even in the first few weeks with Boeing in place it has become evident that the scale of what is possible is significantly greater than we’ve anticipated for the short-term.”