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durham_blog_imagePolice investigations depend on data, and ensuring that the data is accurate and readily available to police in the field is a powerful way to make officers more productive and help them in ensuring the safety of our communities. Forces can no longer continually spend their IT budget on ‘keeping the lights on’, or delivering monolithic IT programmes. The police require an iterative, agile and user experience-led way of delivering technology to the front-line. One of the most important technology tools needed to achieve this is an easy-to-use case management system that helps departments to consolidate front-line policing applications for Case, Crime, Intelligence and Custody management in a single platform, simplifying the tasks of entering data, making it reliable, and delivering it to investigators who need it.

The Durham Constabulary, the only Police Service in the U.K. to receive an “Outstanding” rating for criminal investigation, credits Microsoft Dynamics with improving the quality and usability of information in its investigations, while keeping personnel on the streets rather than in the station doing paperwork. This new video from Microsoft U.K. provides a closer look on how the Durham force uses technology to achieve their mission:

Police departments rely on a core set of applications to store, retrieve, and track data for their front line officers. Like many information systems, these have been developed or acquired over time as standalone solutions that do not necessarily interoperate. This results in time-consuming data entry into multiple systems, inefficient duplicate records, a lack of transparency for end users of the data, and uncertainty about its accuracy when records diverge. These challenges are magnified when Police Constabulary budgets-and human resources-shrink. Officers are too valuable a resource to take off the street for form-filling and data entry.

Microsoft Dynamics helps officers enter records more efficiently, track connections and solve cases using a simple, intuitive interface. It tracks records of engagements and actions, providing social insights and intelligence to investigators. Cases are being solved more quickly, even with fewer officers, thanks to this Crime and Intelligence management system.

The Durham Constabulary needed to find ways to reduce costs and make its officers more productive as budgets were being reduced. The department turned to Microsoft Dynamics to consolidate a mix of applications, reducing complexity and improving accuracy. It creates a synergy between IT and front-line policing, and the result is a faster, more streamlined process with fewer duplicate records.

This provides a “single version of the truth,” which officers can rely on. Input in the system is through an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Information is delivered in a clear and succinct way. All of this means that officers can use Microsoft Dynamics with little training, further reducing their time spent off the beat. Security includes multifactor authentication, which uses electronic credentials on a fob in addition to user name and password.

The bottom line, says Dave Orford, Durham assistant chief constable, is that more criminals are being captured, making the streets safer.

Migrating Crime, Intelligence, Case and Custody management to Microsoft Dynamics CRM opens the door for departments to enable access to records by officers in the field using mobile devices, reducing the need for officers to return to the station. It also frees departments from having to maintain real estate for a large desktop environment that is being replaced by more mobile laptops, tablets and smartphones. The next stage is to take Microsoft Dynamics to the cloud, which can further reduce the need for departments to maintain expensive systems and infrastructure in-house.