The strategic ambition of wide-scale public sector collaboration could be much closer as a result of work to provide access to information across the country backed by a centre of excellence in cyber security, explains Ian Bell.
In February this year, Police Professional published an article Digital Discoveries (see PP542) in which I shared the purpose of a national programme to shape the future of policing; providing the tools and capabilities that will allow us to re-think operational delivery and challenge current processes and ways of working, both cross-force and with partner organisations. The National Enabling Programmes (NEP) consists of three elements and associated solutions: Productivity Services improving collaboration and supporting new ways of working with other forces, partner organisations and the public; Identity and access management (IAM) enabling seamless user access to local, regional and national information, networks and applications, including cloud-based services; and Security Operations Centre (SOC) playing an essential role in protecting our technology infrastructure by maintaining digital trust and protecting police digital assets and infrastructure from the increased threat of cybercrime. How will NEP help achieve Policing Vision 2025? The Policing Vision 2025 states it can only be delivered by the whole of policing working together collaboratively in the public interest. To achieve this we must move away from operating as a set of locally managed territorial forces, and combine our collective knowledge and strengths. To do this, a huge behavioural and cultural shift is needed, underpinned by technology that can securely support and enable new ways of working. The capabilities delivered by the NEP will enable UK police forces to join their approach to service delivery and to address crime as a national police force. What will the NEP provide for forces The user journey below demonstrates an example of how new technologies could improve the experience of victims of crime and enable more collaborative working for officers. Productivity services implementing latest cloud-based productivity tools will increase effectiveness and improve service delivery by enhancing communications and facilitating interaction with other forces, partner organisations and the public. Effective sharing of information will improve the management of police information and enable officers to dedicate more time to their local communities while engaging with partners. Officers and staff will be able to access and work on documents across multiple devices, hold meetings remotely and share information quickly and easily. In essence, it will transform operational delivery, improve engagement with victims and witnesses and allow officers to be more visible in the community rather than being required to return to the station to complete administrative tasks. IAM will enable the right individuals to access the appropriate local, regional and national resources securely from multiple devices and locations, without compromising security. This will enable flexible working with a seamless login every time a user accesses a different connected system, eliminating the need for multiple logins and for users to remember and input multiple usernames and passwords with single sign-on (SSO). SOC a national police SOC will secure infrastructure and assets, monitor participating police forces and help mitigate information security risks. It will provide centralised security monitoring and response coordination so forces are forewarned and able to identify the possibility of cyber-attack, insider threat and data-loss. The SOC will be a centre of excellence for cybersecurity in law enforcement and will ensure national standards of cyber-hygiene are adopted and maintained across the UK police service. What next? The NEP has already completed a number of activities in a relatively short period of time, including the development of high-level designs for each solution. The programme has attracted significant investment over the next four years, which will prove to be of benefit to forces in terms of technology design and implementation and will greatly as