Police pursue cloud first IT strategy

Police on patrol

The National Police Technology Council (NPTC) will make its National ICT Strategic Principles Document available for police forces across the country to download, to help guide the deployment of infrastructure and applications.

The aim of the resources is to help shape technology strategies for the police service across the UK, making it more uniform across the board.

It details national strategic principles to help police forces understand how to digitise their systems and services, reducing discrepancies between forces and helping to ensure every unit employs the same plans for growth.

It covers 26 areas, including technology architecture, the technology itself, how data should be handled and how applications are developed and deployed.

For example, it outlines the principle that any solutions designed by police forces should be created with a national solution in mind, even if its basis lies in policing the local area. It explains that all forces in the country are designed to carry out the same duties, and so deployment of technology should be identical.

"When designing a new solution, the design must take into account how it could be re-used to deliver a capability to x-forces without the need to redesign the underlying platform," the document explains. "This principle will result in a reduction in disparate systems used, improve data sharing while reducing implementation and operating costs."

Another key principle relates to interoperability of data, applications and technology, again enabling all forces across the country to make use of it.

"Standards help ensure consistency, thus improving the ability to manage systems and improve user satisfaction, and protect existing ICT investments, thus maximising return on investment and reducing costs," the document adds. "Standards for interoperability additionally help ensure support from multiple vendors for their products, and facilitate supply chain integration."

The underlying message its that police forces developing applications or technologies for the police service should be created with a cloud-first attitude, future-proofing the service against change and ensuring solutions have the longest shelf-life possible to ensure they maximise budgets.

It represents the latest push to deploy newer technologies in the UK's police force. London's Metropolitan Police recently signed a deal with cloud storage firm Box to improve collaboration and data sharing between its 44,000 officers.

Many will see this as a much needed joint effort to modernise the technological capabilities of UK policing, particularly as it was discovered recently that almost 20% of Manchester's police force still rely on the outdated Windows XP operating system.

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Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.