Sepura has made enhancements to its mobile stop and search solution which has already saved the UK’s Greater Manchester Police significant budget, while considerably boosting their efficiency and the reporting processes.
The application solution, which can now be used via an officer’s hand-portable radio or tablet device, provides a simple alternative to a paper-based system by capturing key information and relaying it immediately to a back-office.
The application makes capturing stop and search data swifter and more accurate, and cuts down the time police officers need to spend in potentially dangerous situations simply collecting information. As a result, the relationship between the public and their police is greatly enhanced through use of a more efficient approach.
Officers adapt to them readily, as data entry is simple and intuitive: functionality is similar to texting on a mobile phone, which is second nature for most people.
There are also significant police management advantages in being able to obtain up-to-date information about very recent stop and search activity. All information required by legislation is captured, allowing analysis and evaluation.
An officer's GPS location is automatically attached to the keyed-in data, and the entry is time-stamped when it enters the back-end database. The technology is used to produce visual maps, which can be presented by beat and ward.
This solution has become even more significant as a result of the introduction of the Home Secretary’s new code of conduct ‘The Best Use of Stop and Search’, which requires the Police to record every stop and search outcome to allow assessment of how forces interpret the rules. The information collected is made available on a dashboard providing supervisors and managers with a real time view of activity in their area.
Jonathan Hamill, Sepura’s vice president of Government and Public Safety commented: “At a time when the process of Stop and Search is under close public and government scrutiny, we are pleased to be able to offer a solution that not only increases the ability to analyse the procedure in close detail, but also represents a considerable cost saving for the tax payer.”
After a successful pilot in 2011, the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) implemented the solution the following year, resulting in several hundred thousand pounds worth of savings, with the added benefits of increased engagement with the public, greater accountability, and improved application of legislation.
At the time, an operational officer commented: "This system is by far the most efficient, simple to use time-saving idea I have been involved in since joining the police nearly eight years ago."
Sepura’s stop and search applications are being demonstrated at the Annual Police Superintendents’ Conference in Warwickshire this week.