West Midlands Police (WMP) has awarded Accenture a five-year, £25 million contract to help improve its use of technology and find efficiency savings.
The firm’s first task is to help design a new target operating model over the next six months for how the force will operate in 2020.
Accenture will work to develop systems so people can report crime and track cases online and introduce new mobile devices to the force so officers can spend more time on patrol.
The partnership will focus on how to improve information sharing across WMP and improve analysis of existing police data. As part of the contract HP will design a new IT infrastructure which will focus on supporting for force’s increased mobility, security and data analysis needs.
The company will also provide project and program management, business change and system integration services to WMP as part of the agreement.
A crucial part of the rationale for the partnership is the need for WMP to make significant savings of over £120 million over the next five years. The force has already taken £100 million out of its budget and cut 2,500 staff posts.
The contract is for five years with an option to extend for a further three years. It has a performance-related payments structure, whereby Accenture gets paid only when it delivers certain outcomes aligned to overall force performance such as budget savings.
Chief constable Chris Sims said: “At the core of this project is a desire to sustain and improve the quality of policing across the West Midlands.
“Never before have we taken on a project of this scale or magnitude. This ground breaking piece of work will look at the delivery of a more information led policing model.”
He added: “Today police forces need the latest technologies to assist in the fight against crime and to help protect communities. A more efficient operating environment supported by the greater use of technology that Accenture can bring will help us deliver a better service to the public, reduce costs and maintain a strong visible presence on the street.”
Mark Lyons, Accenture’s UK&I managing director for Health & Public Service, said: “Communities will also benefit from greater digital capabilities including the ability to report crimes, track case progress and engage with the force online and using social media channels. This program of change at WMP will ultimately mean an improved police service across the West Midlands.”
A “devastating” interim report by police watchdog HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in May this year found that a fifth of crimes may be going unrecorded, partly due to poorly integrated IT systems.
The interim report was based on inspections carried out in 13 of the 43 Home Office police forces, including the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police and Devon and Cornwall Police.
West Midlands Police was inspected in late May, after the interim report was published.
The inspection is the most extensive of its kind ever undertaken into the integrity of crime data by HMIC. The final report is due to be published in October.