When you consider multi-agency working practices with a public safety lens, there have been various technological advancements made over the years to improve the working practices of our UK public safety personnel. The recommendations from Sir Desmond Fennells public inquiry after the Kings Cross tube fire in 1987 had an immediate impact on health and safety for passengers.
These recommendations included replacing wooden escalators, a smoking ban on all stations and extending the compatibility of the radio equipment used by British Transport Police to the London Fire Brigade, ensuring radios worked below ground which led to the creation of a secure communication platform dedicated to the Emergency Services that we know as Airwave.
So, emergency services have been collaborating for a number of years on the same platform but it is how this type of collaboration evolves for a citizen-centric society in 2020 and beyond that is a key consideration.
National Policing Digital Strategy 2020-2030
Data is the most important commodity that all public safety institutions possess. As the progression towards full digitisation of business processes is made, the ability to share this data between agencies is now more important than ever. There have been too many high profile cases in the public domain where this data was not shared, with tragic consequences. As this digitisation delivers services with different types of consumption models such as Software as a Service (SaaS), these data sets need to be compatible with many.
Smartphones have driven a generational age where data sharing by consumers using apps is commonplace, typically without any regard for where the data is processed or stored.
The Police ICT Company has released its National Policing Digital Strategy for 2020 to 2030 and has listed enabling technologies such as Application Programming Interface’s (API’s) as enabling technologies for the decade ahead. API’s use a common interface to connect different systems together in an open standard way. Utilising this API connectivity to link these datasets and presenting data in a single view is the position we must strive to achieve.
Once data is unified in a single format, the insights that can be extracted would inform and influence decision making using a combination of artificial intelligence for recommended courses of action and augmented intelligence to make these recommendations.
The data needs to be secure and readily accessible for these multi-agency operatives to access either from a desktop or a secure mobile to enable agile decision making.
Today, people expect more from government; more transparency, more simplicity and more focus on the customer. Yet these complex and outdated data silo’s can cause failures, as we have seen over the years with criminal and social care cases making the headlines due to simple data sharing between agencies not being available.
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