- Improved management of structured and unstructured data
- Overcome the complexity of application diversity to enable enhanced collaboration within the force and beyond to partner agencies
- Versatility to deliver information resources at the point of need
- Enhanced content management efficiency
- New and powerful digital asset management capabilities
- Greater system and process connectivity
- Effective reuse of data and knowledge
Hampshire Constabulary is the second largest non-metropolitan police service in England and Wales, serving a population of 1.8 million across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Based at headquarters in Winchester, the IT and Communications Services (ITCS) department supports the IT infrastructure that underpins all police operations.
Recent public sector budget cuts have resulted in the formation of a Joint Operations Unit with Thames Valley Police, and in 2011 the IT departments of the forces merged. Subsequently, the Roads Policing, Training, Firearms and Dog units of the two forces have also amalgamated.
In 2011, Hampshire Constabulary initiated a Force Change Programme to maximise its ability to deliver effective and efficient frontline services. Following a technology review, the force determined it needed to leverage its existing IT investments and introduce transformational change that would equip it to deliver 21st century policing capabilities now and into the future. To do this would mean unleashing the application and data capabilities of the organisation to foster greater collaboration and rapid service innovation.
For Applications and Data Architect Christina Xavier-Thomas, who led the Hampshire Constabulary technology review, the objectives were clear. Introducing a service-oriented architecture would be the key to seamlessly integrating and consolidating multiple systems and silo applications — including six document management systems — to achieve improved efficiency and more effective teamwork.
Technology enables every aspect of Hampshire’s work — from front-line policing to interfaces with the public and criminal justice. The ability to deliver the right information at the right time, to the right people is a critical requirement.
To support a diverse and constantly evolving set of user needs, Hampshire Constabulary needed to rationalise its document and data management to enable flexible new ways of working and increase the flow of its biggest asset: information. High on the wish-list was the ability to transcend departmental systems to enable seamless cross-functional and inter-organisational information sharing and collaboration by:
- joining structured information with digital media to facilitate better crime investigation and digital case files.
- managing and using digital assets — including CCTV, body worn video, still images and 999 calls — effortlessly.
- reusing its systems and knowledge to create new capabilities effectively.
- delivering real-time information insights to front line staff and other force personnel.
- enabling greater synergy with Thames Valley Police.
To achieve all this and more, Hampshire Constabulary needed an enterprise content management (ECM) platform that could support all its application and data requirements.
Implementing Alfresco ECM would deliver all the flexibility Hampshire Constabulary needed plus provide a low entry cost that would enable the force to ‘think big, start small and scale fast’. “As an open source product, Alfresco gave us the inherent platform flexibility we needed to achieve seamless integration with a multitude of systems and applications,” confirms Christina.