West Midlands Police: Serve and protect with cloud
Data-driven insights have transformed operations for the police force.
West Midlands Police (WMP) is the second largest force in England outside of London, with approximately 11,000 officers and staff serving nearly 2.8 million people. The organization’s real differentiator, however, is an unmatched commitment to using data to improve service and better protect its people. WMP’s leaders recognize the need for data-driven insights and analytics to improve every aspect of policing—from making internal operations more efficient to aiding in criminal investigations and patrols.
To build its new data intelligence capabilities, WMP wanted to team with an established and trusted partner that could bring together the range of technology, analytics and insight skills, combined with an understanding of WMP’s challenges and priorities, to co-create a strategy and then implement it. WMP knew the transformation effort required more than a systems integrator and selected Accenture to be their technology and innovation partner.
Matthew Pound, Accenture Health and Public Service, West Midlands Police Account Lead for Accenture & Helen Davis, Assistant Director for IT and Digital for West Midlands Police, at AWS re:Invent | Executive Summit 2020.View Transcript
"Data-Driven Insights was very successful. It went from a handful of people using it to do clever whizzbang things to every officer on the force being able to access that level of data at their fingertips."
The team included WMP officers and staff from across the entire organization and technology, analytics and data science experts from Accenture. The team was able to identify how data and analytics could help achieve specific objectives. For example, in the area of force intelligence, how might they bring data together to provide quick, accurate insights into gang affiliations? What data was most valuable? How should it be accessed? And by whom? How would they make sure the data would be used in a responsible way? The answers to these questions provided the foundation for a roadmap to creating an enhanced cloud-first solution with Amazon Web Services.
They needed to customize the infrastructure to enable advanced analytics, customizable reports and dashboards, incorporate next-generation tooling and integrate AWS with other WMP systems.
They had to make sure that the data would be used in a responsible way, which is a priority for all the work that we do with public safety agencies.
With Accenture’s help, WMP became one of the first UK police forces to enable data-driven policing. Today, a modern, scalable solution utilizing AWS enable 7,000 officers, staff and intelligence analysts to find the information they need and meaningful insights in a matter of minutes. The solution, which WMP is now managing, is expected to deliver millions of pounds in efficiency gains over the next five years.
Accurate information on people, gangs, crime trends and more is easily accessible via their smart phones. Furthermore, officers have data they can trust, at their fingertips. The solution was designed to automatically reload fresh data from legacy systems into AWS every few hours. To support the officers in the field, WMP has established a Data Science Lab, which uses data to answer difficult and complex problems in a responsible way that support preventative actions.
In fact, with the solution’s productivity gains, it’s as if WMP has more than 150 additional officers patrolling the streets.
The data-driven insights project includes an ethics panel whose role is to monitor and provide direction on the use of machine learning and automation and that their principles are based on best practice. WMP is the first police force in the UK to hire its own data scientists, data engineers and visualisation specialists to develop this capability in house. Our hope is that WMP becomes a pathfinder for other forces.
By making it easier for officers to do their jobs and enabling data scientists to identify trends, the data-driven solution is helping WMP make people in the West Midlands safer and more secure. Previously, officers spent considerable time managing data and searching for insights. Now, they can spend more time policing and interacting with the public. In fact, with the solution’s productivity gains, it’s as if WMP has more than 150 additional officers patrolling the streets. Further, with detailed analyses guiding their policing efforts, WMP can help ensure that its officers are deployed to the right locations at the right time. Officers are not only in a better position to prevent crime from occurring but are also better informed and can respond to crimes that do occur more effectively.
"It’s making officers more efficient, and it’s also making them safer. The more efficient they are, the more time they have to spend out with the public."
Today, a modern, scalable solution utilizing AWS enables 7,000 officers, staff and intelligence analysts to find the information they need and retrieve meaningful insights in a matter of minutes.
The solution, which WMP is now managing, is expected to deliver millions of pounds in efficiency gains over the next five years.
Officers are embracing data-driven insights to better patrol and serve communities. Within just three months of deployment, 4,000 officers had adopted the new solution.