This week, Kit Malthouse Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, laid out the police funding settlement which has been stated as the biggest increase in funding to forces since 2010.
In the settlement the Government lays out its funding priorities including reducing serious violent crime, as well as clarity on the future of some of the transformation and digital programmes.
It states continued Government support for the completion of national transformation programmes delivering enhanced capabilities across policing. The Police Transformation Fund will come to a close and it will invest £60 million of funding next year for a programme of work to support the Government’s priorities of increased digitisation in policing. This will include: further development of a National Data Analytics capability to support preventative policing interventions; delivery to forces of the Single Online Home policing website to provide more effective engagement with the public; providing productivity tools supporting collaboration and cyber-security to protect forces; support improvements to how fingerprint and digital forensics are used, helping forces to deliver a fully accredited, more integrated and sustainable service; and an uplift to forensics, including digital forensics, to build capability across policing and for new officers.
The Government will support the police to make use of the latest technologies, such as biometrics and analytics but this will be on the basis of good evidence and the best understanding of science. As such, funding made available for a Police Chief Scientific Adviser and dedicated funding for investment in Science, Technology and Research. This role will be developed in partnership with the National Police Chiefs Council.
As part of the settlement the Government expects police to continue to focus on improving efficiency and productivity through digital, data and technology solutions. It also states that forces should make best use of the products developed by the national police-led Frontline National Mobility Programme in 2019/20, in particular mobile working.
In regards to the National Policing Digital, Data and Technology Strategy, it outlines that the Home Office will continue to support delivery and drive forward, working with police service to develop a detailed implementation plan.