BT and Deloitte spearhead police digital transformation

Police on patrol

BT and Deloitte have been awarded the contracts to help deliver the National Enabling Programmes (NEP) for policing, including the National Management Centre (NMC).

Under the partnership agreement, they will work with police forces across England and Wales to help them buy and manage ICT more effectively.

The delivery of new cloud-based tech to local police forces is a welcome one. It follows on from successful trials in 2017 and 2018 with a select few local police forces. Now, the programme will be rolled out throughout England and Wales over the next few years.

The NEP, which sees investment of 100 million, aims to revolutionise British Policing, in-line with the Policing Vision 2025. Part of the plan involves implementing the latest cloud-based tools that forces need to increase effectiveness, enhance communication and facilitate interaction with other forces, partner organisations and the public.

"The NEP is a key enabling tool that will deliver a foundational change within Policing as we exploit new ICT resources in a unified way across our Forces," said Wayne Parkes, Programme Director of the NEP.

"This 'joined up thinking' will facilitate a radical change in both what the police do and how the public interact with us."

Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner and NEP board member, added: "This programme will ensure all UK police forces are using the same software within the next two years, improving public safety and the effectiveness of frontline police officer."

The nationally coordinated, locally delivered service will allow local forces to maintain control of which tech they need for their team, delivered via Microsoft Azure, but taking away the responsibility of maintaining the tech from them thanks to a central National Management Centre (NMC) provided by BT.

The NMC will maintain the services that are provided to ensure there are no vulnerabilities in the technology which could expose local forces to cyber attacks. The 24/7 facility based in one of BT's existing Security Operations Centres will respond to cyber threats against the force and ensure sensitive data is safeguarded as the forces embark on their transformation.

"The need for the Police to protect digital evidence, intelligence and front-line services from cyber-attacks has never been greater," said Colm O'Neill, MD Major Business and Public Sector at BT.

"So our new National Management Centre for Policing will provide them with a cyber security centre of excellence. Cyber crime is also borderless, so information sharing and greater collaboration is needed across all Forces. We will help the Police prevent and combat cyber attacks in a more joined-up fashion while securing the network and applications that will move into the cloud - one of the biggest IT transformations Policing has ever seen."

One of the key predictions of the Policing Vision 2025 is that forces will be far more digital. This digital transformation will make it easier for the public to make contact with the police wherever they are in the country, enabling them to make better use of digital intelligence and evidence and transfer all material in a digital format to the criminal justice system.

Connor Jones

Connor Jones has been at the forefront of global cyber security news coverage for the past few years, breaking developments on major stories such as LockBit’s ransomware attack on Royal Mail International, and many others. He has also made sporadic appearances on the ITPro Podcast discussing topics from home desk setups all the way to hacking systems using prosthetic limbs. He has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield, and has previously written for the likes of Red Bull Esports and UNILAD tech during his career that started in 2015.