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Police Digital Service claims £27 million savings


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Police Digital Service (PDS) has claimed a total of £27 million in cashable and cost avoidance savings for UK police forces through its work over the first year of its operation.

It has flagged up the figure, verified by the Home Office, in its annual report for 2021-22, along with the completion of six national progammes, the establishment of several teams and creation of a digital solutions catalogue.

Created to lead the work on national digital initiatives in policing, PDS says its commercial services, such as procurement frameworks for various types of software and devices and for Tetra devices accessories for the Airwave communications network, along with the catalogue produced the savings for police forces over the past financial year.

This builds on the work done by its predecessor organisation, the Police ICT Company.

It also points to projected savings on some programmes, notably £15.2 million from the Digital Case Files, and the completion of national programmes initiated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. These include: the roll out of Microsoft 365 for 38 forces; setting up a national process for the management of police user IDs; the establishment of a cyber security monitoring service for police forces; application of the Government Convergence Framework for routing emails securely over the internet; Frontline Digital Mobility; and the National Standards programme.

Web platform

The latter involved the development of a web platform for police forces and partners to search for data and technical standards and specifications.

The organisation also increased its headcount to 84 by the end of the financial year.

“In our ‘pathfinder year’ we have set about building the right foundations for delivery, ensuring that we have a strong and knowledgeable workforce, the right teams and roles to effectively communicate with forces and providers and the correct tools to do so,” the report says. “This has all come while we have been striving to build our capability and capacity throughout the organisation.”

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