Empower officers on the street with direct system access through smartphones and tablets, reducing paperwork and increasing street time.
With central government initiatives demanding very substantial savings within the police force, the pressure is on to achieve productivity improvements while maintaining the critical service the police provides. Police forces are also aware of the increasing demand for digital citizen engagement. The “Street to Strategic” project at Northumbria Police will empower officers on the street with direct system access through smartphones and tablets, reducing paperwork and increasing street time.
The IT team had the challenge of delivering this vision as Martin Ibbotson, Project Manager, explains: “Our back-end system, called NPICCS (Northumbria Police Integrated Communications and Control Systems), is COBOL-developed and runs on TANDEM. It was home-developed 27 years ago and maintains a wealth of intelligence. Although it is cost-effective and very well integrated, the user interface was widely recognized as being very unfriendly and complex.
The look-and-feel was green screen and getting new people up to speed with the system was time-consuming. Pulling information together from different systems required jumping between different screens and simple functions such as spell checkers and text wrap-around weren’t available. Independent research and a cost/benefit analysis showed us that the best way forward would be to modernize the user interface without having to write new back-end services, fully leveraging the existing intelligence and integration points within the system.”