Police chiefs across three counties have been successful in obtaining just under of £2 million from the government’s Police Innovation Fund.
The bid, which was submitted last month by the Chief Constables and Police Commissioners of Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire to the Home Office, was announced as successful on Thursday (January 16).
Cambridgeshire Constabulary launched a technology programme - Programme Metis - in 2013 and the bid set out how the money will be used to widen the programme across collaboration forces Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Chief Constable Simon Parr said: “Programme Metis was launched to modernise the way Cambridgeshire police do business, to keep officers on the frontline for longer and improve our service to the public. Part of this work includes the publicised roll out of slates to frontline officers. Early results show this is allowing each of them to spend an extra hour per day on the frontline.
“We are extremely pleased to have been successful in this bid. This funding will enable us to transform our forces in a way that commercial businesses have been doing for many years.”
Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright, said: “This is great news for the people of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. This money will be used to modernise and transform the way police services are delivered, ultimately protecting the frontline. The success of the bid demonstrates how police and crime commissioners and chief constables are working effectively together, creating innovation through collaboration.
“The money will be invested to help us find technological solutions that maximise the time officers spend out in their communities and enable the public to contact us in different ways. It will help us to provide an efficient, value for money service that keeps our public at its heart while saving money.”
The Home Office has made a total fund of £20 million available during 2013/2014 and a further £50 million available during 2014/2015 to finance bids made to further collaboration and innovation.
Beds, Cambs and Herts submitted a bid for £1.95m in the current year 2013/14 and a further £6.17m bid for 2014/15, for which confirmation is awaited.