INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS technology is a key enabler and partner of the New Zealand Police as it meets the challenges of modern crime fighting and supports the broader police strategy.
The Police is continuously expanding the use of mobile technology to enable frontline staff to be “more street than station”, where they can make the biggest difference in preventing crime.
This means police officers are equipped with improved technology to reduce paperwork and enabling them to spend more time supporting the community.
The Enterprise Services Programme allows police officers to gain access to a modern, portable, centrally supported computer set-up that allows them to do their jobs without being tied to a particular location.
Frontline staff receive updated iPhone 6+ devices with enhanced features and more functionality. Mobile tools, such as operational tasking application ‘OnDuty’, are being developed with direct input from uniformed staff and the Police’s strategic partners.
The Police has two centres that compliment this task: The Mobile Innovation Lab and the ICT Agile Development Centre. In both centres, ICT teams, officers and industry partners test and pilot ideas. The good ideas are developed further using Agile methodologies to allow the Police to implement these ideas faster.
Anne Speden, acting executive director information, technology and systems at Police, says support for the ‘more street than station’ approach – through advancement in the enterprise services and mobility programme – ranks high in the contributions of the ICT department to the organisation over the past year.
“Police has a strong business led strategy, which ICT underpins. Through our approach and strategic partners we make sure the business realisation happens.”
The Police has 400 ICT team members – including contractors – who develop, test and roll out these technology tools in conjunction with local, national and international partners. They work with more than 12,500 staff who respond to more than 700,000 emergency calls a year, from the 400 community-based stations and communication centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Speden says in upcoming months the ICT team will continue to roll out mobility services, including native application development, HRMIS, work on the delivery of the Enterprise Services platform and the Emergency Services Network.
She says the Police is also reviewing technologies such as Push to Talk where voice conversations are conducted over a radio channel, as officers have access to additional communication tools such as mobile phones and tablets.
The focus remains on transformation and innovative solutions, such as the recent intellectual property (IP) agreement with global technology company Hexagon, she says.
Through this deal Police provided Hexagon with the IP rights to OnDuty, a new suite of mobile applications which allow police to receive and complete tasks on their mobility devices without having to return to the station.
Under this first-of-its-kind agreement for New Zealand Police, Hexagon Security, Government Infrastructure (SGI) will further develop and take to market the OnDuty suite to public safety agencies beyond New Zealand. Once commercialised, New Zealand Police will receive royalties for further technology investment and innovation.
“The global reach of Hexagon and others will ensure the best possible exposure for the IP developed by Police in collaboration with its partners, and we expect that agreements such as this will prove to be a fundamental building block to the success of NZ Inc.”