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Thames Valley Police given £1.6m Home Office funding boost to use technology to fight crime

Thames Valley Police has been awarded £1.6 million in additional funding from the Home Office to enhance and improve the use of technology in the detection and investigation of crime.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley police, Anthony Stansfeld, submitted the bids on behalf of the Force to help improve the service offered to victims of crime and improve the links with our criminal justice partners.

The successful bids are:

•Extra funding for equipping officers with mobile technology, so they can access key operational systems while out on patrol and have the capability to capture electronic witness signatures. This will reduce the time they spend in the station and increase their visible presence.

•Funding for additional body worn video across the Force to improve evidence gathering.

•Funding for the ability to create ‘digital case files’ which can be accessed by criminal justice partners in the Crown Prosecution Service.

•Tools to enhance the Force’s ability to analyse information on social media platforms and improve engagement with the communities via these platforms.

•Financial support to run a ‘Proof of Concept’ Live Link facility enabling officers or staff to give evidence remotely without having to attend court in person. This would significantly reduce the amount of time officers have to sit and wait at court to be called in and enable them to continue with their work at a station.

•Funding to establish the use of voluntary GPS tracking of prolific and priority offender who are being managed under the Integrated Offender Management scheme.

•The final bid is a joint bid with Hampshire Constabulary to improve, enhance and develop multiple channels for customer contact. Giving the public more ways to access our services and giving us a better understanding of their needs.

The Force was notified of the successful bids today in a letter from Rt Hon Damien Green. The finer details about the amount of the funding approved will be released as soon as we have it.

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld added: “With the financial cutbacks in policing it is the advance in technology that allows us to still reduce crime in a period of austerity.  This additional funding in innovative technology will greatly assist us in our mission to reduce crime.”

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “Obviously I am delighted that the Home Office consider our ideas and plans for the future innovative and robust enough for them to invest in. The public want police officers to be visible in their communities and not sat in police stations filling out paperwork. Enabling mobile access to a range of police systems and evidence capturing tools will help us give the public what they want.