South East forces connect with landmark PSN deal

The police and crime commissioners (PCCs) of three South East police forces – Thames Valley Police, Hampshire Constabulary and Surrey Police – have signed a landmark contract with BT that promises overall savings of up to 20 per cent through standardising technology and service models.

Aug 8, 2013
By Paul Jacques
Stuart Cowan

The police and crime commissioners (PCCs) of three South East police forces – Thames Valley Police, Hampshire Constabulary and Surrey Police – have signed a landmark contract with BT that promises overall savings of up to 20 per cent through standardising technology and service models.

It is the first deal of its kind in the UK for policing and paves the way for improved customer service.

The South East Police Shared Network Services Agreement (SEPSNSA), first put out to tender in 2011 and valued at £37.4 million, will transform the telecoms technology used by the three forces, enabling them to save money and continue the drive to protect frontline services.

BT will provide the forces with a secure regional Public Services Network (PSN). The PSN is a government programme to unify the provision of network infrastructure across the UK public sector into an interconnected ‘network of networks’ to increase efficiency and reduce overall public expenditure and services including a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), internet protocol (IP) telephony, contact centre technology, call recording and a raft of vital security.

SEPSNSA will enable connected policing, providing better collaboration between the forces as they will be able to connect and share information across a trusted data network for the South East region. This will be achieved by securely connecting all data centres from the three forces.

A lead force, for example, will be able to host key police applications for staff working as part of a regional unit. Users will have the ability to work from anywhere across the three forces instead of having to drive to key locations.

The anticipated savings of up to 20 per cent will be delivered by standardising technology and service models, enabling economies of scale and creating more cost-effective networks.

Thames Valley PCC Anthony Stansfeld said: “This is a great example of police forces using their combined purchasing power to deliver significant savings for their force and enabling opportunities for closer working in the future. I believe this contract demonstrates that Thames Valley Police, Hampshire Constabulary and Surrey Police are forward-thinking forces which are working hard to find new and innovative ways to save money and increase efficiency.”

The forces will be working with BT as part of the South East Regional Policing IT (SERIT) programme to develop and adopt further innovations and efficiencies.

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “In the current financial climate it is essential that police forces look at alternative ways to reduce costs while protecting frontline policing.

“The SEPSNSA contract demonstrates that Thames Valley Police is committed to working with partners to improve our service, increase efficiency and continue to reduce costs.”

The PCC for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Simon Hayes, commented: “This deal saves the public money from day one. It sends out a message that there is a will within the three forces to find new ways of working and, in doing so, to achieve the improvements that the public want to see and set us up for further innovation and collaboration.”

Surrey PCC Kevin Hurley added: “It makes sense for our police forces to work together – we share the same basic goals, deliver a range of common services and have the same needs in terms of the infrastructure that supports our officers and staff in serving the public.

“This contract is another important step forward for collaboration between police forces in the South East that will improve our communications infrastructure and save public money.”

Stuart Hill, vice-president of Central Government at BT, said the contract was “simply groundbreaking”.

“This is the first PSN police network purchased by neighbouring police forces. BT’s secure and trusted network will enable better and quicker collaboration between forces and drive standardisation of technologies to enable further business transformation.

“By working together, we are enabling

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