Expensive, fragmented and outdated IT systems costing Police, says home secretary

Too much money is still spent on expensive, fragmented and outdated IT systems, according to home secretary Theresa May.

In a speech delivered at the Police ICT Company’s suppliers summit this week, May said that police forces must drive efficiency and innovation by exploiting the potential of technology.

May added that “police officers all too often use technology that lags woefully behind what they use as consumers”. She also stated that there is an unacceptable lack of digital join up with the criminal justice system and other agencies.

May pointed out that technology is moving fast and continues to reshape the way we live and work while also reshaping the way criminals carry out crimes. This means policing must keep up. “Our ambition must be for every frontline officer to have the ability to capture digital evidence and to carry out basic digital investigations. Such capabilities can no longer be the preserve of specialist units alone.”


Spending wisely

During her speech May outlined how procurement must be carried out intelligently so that contracts deliver value for money for officers and the taxpayer. She encouraged those responsible to “be ambitious in shaping the future”, and added that suppliers are frustrated too by the fragmented and complicated police market. “In particular SMEs – who can often have the most innovative ideas – can be deterred by the complexity, but that does not mean that this type of reform is not important,” she said.

A full transcript of the May’s speech can be found here.

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