Collaboration tools: a force to be reckoned with for Northamptonshire Police
How collaboration technology can support the 2025 policing vision
With seemingly perpetual budget cuts and staff shortages, times are challenging to say the least for our police forces. It’s therefore not surprising that they’re constantly looking for new ways to reduce costs and improve productivity in their efforts to protect communities and combat crime.
Take Northamptonshire Police for example. A small police force covering a substantial rural area of the UK, officers and other staff need to communicate and share information regularly throughout the day for quick but accurate decision making. However, physically attending meetings and briefings necessitated extensive travel across a vast geographical region, which took its toll on staff efficiency. This resulted in reduced productivity as well as hefty travel costs.
The force needed a more effective method of scheduled and ad hoc information sharing.
Secure instant communication and collaboration
Enter Cisco Meeting Server, our secure, reliable, easy-to-use collaboration suite. Its reliable, high-quality video supports remote meetings with any number of participants, from one-to-one calls to multiple participant briefings, and its convenience is already deriving benefits across the force.
Daily video briefings for example, save time and travel costs, as officers can dial in and participate securely from wherever they are, from other local stations to their homes. Teams can also easily arrange ad hoc meetings regardless of participants’ physical locations, for improved communication and more effective team working. And of course, the ability to communicate and share information without having to travel to every meeting supports faster better decision making. Perhaps most importantly of all, its inherent security means staff can share the most sensitive information without fear of compromise.
And surprisingly for a tool that supports remote working, staff at local stations are now less isolated from the force HQ, with senior officers more likely to visit and work from other sites, resulting in more face-to-face contact in some instances.
Collaboration in action
Continuing the spirit of team work and collaboration, the solution was implemented and installed by our partners, CAE.
The CAE team reviewed carefully with the force exactly what it needed now, as well as helping review its future requirements, resulting in a solution that has opened the door to better communication, remote working and the ability to record calls
Neighbouring forces in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire are also benefiting from its flexibility and reliability, and the levels of security and assurance it delivers means partners and other agencies within the justice system should be able to take advantage of this implementation.
2025 vision – transforming ways of working
I’ve talked before about how digital – specifically the use of collaboration tools – is helping police forces save time and deliver better services to victims, and it’s great to see this happening across more forces.
Looking at the future direction envisaged for all our forces, Policing Vision 2025 has set out five key priorities – local policing, specialist capabilities, digital policing, modern workforce and efficient business support functions, and Cisco Meeting Server can help forces align to all these priorities. Very simply, it can fulfil help fulfil the commitment to local and digital policing, speed up and improve communication processes and support the creation of modern workforces where staff can work more effectively and confidently.
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