All rise for a new justice system

  • techUK techUK
    Tuesday09Jun 2020
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    Guest blog: Martin McFadyen, Head of Public Sector, Virgin Media Business, reflects on the government’s ambition for justice - #procuring4growth

Information shared seamlessly between different departments, frontline police forces and courtrooms.  

This is the government’s ambition for justice. It’s outlined in two key frameworks – the Policing Vision 2025, focused on connected police forces, and the HMTC reform programme, improving the accessibility and efficiency of justice.  

Collaboration with the private sector is crucial to achieving this together we can create safer communities and build a fairer, more accessible justice system.  

Creating safer communities 

Drones tracking criminals on the run. 3D printing enabling court evidence securing convictions. Integrated command centres allowing first responders to view live video while racing to the scene.  

These tasters for what technology will bring should fuel optimism in meeting the ambitions of Policing Vision 2025 – alignment with other emergency services, faster response times and digital interoperability.  

But only 13% of police forces believe their ICT infrastructure is fit for purpose to support what is needed (Source: IGOV). These weak foundations mean just over half (53%) are actively implementing Policing Vision 2025. 

Collaboration with the private sector can overcome these barriers – whether with larger players or SMEs. It’s vital the government draws on expertise from the tech sector and ensures that the policing infrastructure is fit for purpose, otherwise there’s a risk it won’t be able to take advantage of new technologies.  

One SME that’s already having an impact on criminal justice is Shared Services Connected. This is accelerating administrative processes and ensuring infrastructure can support the sort of innovation Policing Vision 2025 is aiming for. There are also larger enterprises capable of providing strategic counsel on foundational technology, such as networking and cybersecurity, which should form an important part of the partner ecosystem. 

These third parties, as specialists in their fields, need to be brought into the fray. They can play a central role in driving digital change across the police force, empowering frontline officers and building safer communities.  

Modernising our courtrooms  

Digital evidence is becoming ever more important in the courtroom. The ability to display it seamlessly, in a way that renders it accessible to all, will be vital in the years ahead.  

The government is implementing a common platform to equip the entire criminal justice system with a single case management process, designed to facilitate the easy sharing of information between police forces and court officials. 

Yet our research shows that merely 9% are ready to implement tech that enables the use of digital evidence – a worrying statistic given the importance of this government initiative. 

To make courtrooms fit for the modern era, the government must collaborate with SMEs that possess the specialist knowledge necessary to let courts to function. There are also larger providers from the private sector capable of helping the Ministry of Justice on this journey – providing the connectivity infrastructure needed to transfer large quantities of data between courtrooms, administrative centres and police services in a speedy and secure fashion, for example.  

All rise for a new justice system  

Technology brings a range of exciting possibilities for the justice system – better frontline policing and fairer, more efficient judicial processes.  

But to meet these objectives, the government needs to invest in collaboration – not just between departments, but with the private sector as well, encompassing large enterprises and SMEs.  

By doing that, we’ll see police forces better equipped to fight crime and a justice system trusted by the public as well as boasting a happy and fulfilled workforce.  

Martin McFadyen is Head of Public Sector at Virgin Media Business 

To read more from #procuring4growth Campaign Week visit our landing page by clicking here.

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