New app rolled out to help frontline officers deal with foreign national cases
A new app that gives police officers “straightforward help and guidance” for dealing with a foreign national is being rolled out across UK police forces.
Developed by the International Crime Coordination Centre (ICCC) and utilising the storage and security of the Police ICT Company’s Knowledge Hub, the app has been successfully trialled by officers in South Wales and Gwent since July last year. It is now being used by 39 forces, including the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
ICCC head of unit, Detective Superintendent Steve Collins, said international inquiries can become part of any policing investigation, ranging from volume crime to serious and complex cases.
He said the ICCC app has been produced with “frontline officers in mind”, who may not be able to access specialist departments or legislation while out of the station or out of office hours.
“We have made the guidance as straightforward as possible. It tells you what you need to know when you need to know it when dealing with a foreign national or an inquiry that has an international element,” said Det Supt Collins.
The Police ICT Company helped the ICCC build, test and coordinate the distribution of the app.
Police ICT Company chief executive officer Ian Bell said it was great to see such a huge take-up of the app so soon after launch.
“Since helping launch the National Policing Digital Strategy earlier this year, our team at the Police ICT Company has been working hard to help police organisations navigate the fast-moving innovation landscape, leverage new technology and deliver the strategy,” Mr Bell said.
“One of the strategy’s five key digital ambitions is to enable officers and staff through digital technology, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to deal with increasingly complex crimes.
“The ICCC app is certainly adding value in this regard. We are proud to be part of the project and to have been able to provide the Knowledge Hub as a foundation for information sharing through the app.”
He added: “The Knowledge Hub is the primary way for policing to share information across forces and their partner organisations. Over the last year Polka has been decommissioned and integrated into the Knowledge Hub. This is an example of where the Hub can go beyond that legacy functionality offering new avenues for policing to share information and good practice across policing leading to improved results.”
Feedback from officers in South Wales and Gwent who have been using the app includes:
- “App has full list of contacts which is good, gives scenario-based guides, good advertisement for ICCC and straight forward basic advice, hopefully officers will use it”;
- “I think this is a valuable tool, to enable all operational officers to access readily available information on foreign nationals and access to convictions. The app is easy to use and the headings clearly direct you to the relevant sections. Excellent work”;
- “It’s crazy that we have not had this information before and that we have over looked international convictions for so long when dealing with run of the mill CID offences… I have no doubt that the detail of how to go about the checks will fade with time, but I think the main points will stick and between you as a point of contact and the App we should be better prepared when we have our next foreign national offender”; and
- “Easy to use, ease of obtaining results and assistance when required. Essential service in today’s diverse policing approach”.
To enquire about using the app, forces can contact the ICCC on 0300 790 0000 or sign in to the Knowledge Hub group at https://knowledgehub.group/group/hhxdpttatw/group-home