The UK’s 43 police forces needed to share and analyze information to eliminate redundant investigatory efforts and to help frontline officers detect and solve crimes more quickly and efficiently.
The Police ICT Company unified numerous IBM data analytics software applications, allowing UK police forces and partners to access and analyze critical crime information from a central data repository.
GBP 8 million savedacross the 43 police forces and law enforcement agencies of the UK
Consolidates 122 contracts into onestreamlining contract management and easing software upgrades
Supports more thorough, effective investigationsthrough intelligence sharing and sophisticated criminal pattern analysis
Business challenge story
Keeping up with tech-savvy criminals
Today’s technology has revolutionized the way criminals operate, allowing them to organize in unprecedented ways. Police forces and other law enforcement agencies in the UK need cutting-edge technology to rapidly and effectively analyze and use information. Unfortunately, given how quickly technology evolves, police forces can be slow to respond to these advancements.
The Police ICT Company was formed in 2015 to help law enforcement agencies throughout the UK better use technology to keep the public safe. Owned and funded by the police forces of the UK, the Company strives to make the best use of public money by helping the law enforcement community get more value from its technology investments. At the time of its formation, each of the UK’s 43 police forces spent more than GBP 1 billion annually managing its own technology contracts. This created enormous redundancy, driving up costs and keeping critical information siloed.
“One of the first opportunities we noticed among the UK’s 43 police forces and their partners was the fact that there were more than 120 contracts for the same IBM i2 software,” says Ian Bell, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Police ICT Company. “Analysts in each organization knew the value of using the i2 suite to transform large quantities of disparate data into actionable intelligence. But their efforts were isolated, driving up costs.”
Tasked with helping law enforcement reduce costs and improve its use of technology, the Company set out to consolidate the contracts for data analytics systems across stations, facilitate streamlined communications and give officers better tools to do their jobs.
Working smarter with consolidated analytics
The Company took a huge step toward boosting the impact of technology on UK crime when it consolidated 122 separate IBM data analytics software contracts into one master agreement, called IBM Access for All. The consolidated contract gives all 43 police forces — plus the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency and Police Scotland — access to the same cutting-edge data analytics software. Access for All includes IBM i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis, IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook and IBM i2 iBase software.
The i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis solution helps police forces turn vast amounts of data into actionable insight and intelligence in real time, providing an enhanced reporting capability. The i2 Analyst’s Notebook software’s visual and social network analysis capabilities help analysts quickly find patterns and connections in the loads of data they handle every day. The i2 iBase software lets police forces collate, analyze and visualize large sets of data for a single view of custody records, intelligence and criminal activity across multiple systems. The i2 Enterprise Insight Analysis Investigate add-on software module lets forces scale the number of users connecting to the power of the i2 software modules. More analysts using i2 means greater collaboration and information sharing across departments and units.
“Analysts can map out relationships and trace evidence geospatially and temporally. Suddenly, they can see the criminal networks clearly — who talks to whom, when key events occur and where it all happens on a map. This is actionable intelligence that helps solve cases faster,” says Bell.
In addition to the suite of i2 analytics software, the Company uses IBM Planning Analytics software to help police forces automate their planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysis processes, improving efficiency and reducing costs. The Company is also working to add IBM SPSS® Modeler, IBM SPSS Statistics and other advanced analytics capabilities to the software mix.
Outsmarting criminals using their own data
Now in its third year, the agreement consolidating 122 software contracts across 43 departments into one central agreement for a wide range of i2, Planning Analytics and other IBM analytical software has already saved the police forces GBP 8 million in software licensing fees. It also simplifies contract renewal and software upgrades and helps ensure a level playing field of application availability and access across the forces.
Today’s police analysts need advanced analytical software to track criminal activity and to target major crimes and organized crime networks more effectively. With greater access to these analytical solutions, analysts can work more effectively — solving crimes faster and keeping the public safer. And because everyone is using the same tools, police forces can get a more comprehensive view of criminal activity, both within and across departments.
Police forces can run sophisticated analysis on telephone records, bank account transactions, custody records, license plate tracking and more — illuminating complex criminal networks and relationships to help solve cases faster and spot emerging threats earlier. The insights into criminal networks can save hours of time and help police officers stay more informed when dispatched to the streets.
The agreement is one of the first contracts of its kind, providing across the forces with similar access to the latest versions of the analytical software. Access for All also provides a new way to think about budgets, intelligence and collaboration that is expected to ultimately improve public safety.
Says Bell: “Not only does this type of unified contract give the individual forces increased spending power and access to more and updated software, it also makes advanced investigative tools accessible to more people in the policing community.”
About The Police ICT Company
Based in London, Police ICT Company was established in 2015 to support UK policing. It strives to get more value from technology investments by making better use of public money by setting the direction, sourcing the deal and assuring the delivery of technology. Owned and funded by the police forces of the UK, its 45 members include representatives from many of the UK’s law enforcement organizations.
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