2 Implementing the Mobile Information
7. In addition to the £71 million of central
funding distributed to police forces under the Programme, the
Department provided a further £9 million to the Agency to
deliver the management of the Programme, central framework contracts
and benefits measurement.
In addition to the central funding provided, the 32 police forces
who responded to the NAO survey spent an additional £23 million
8. The business case for the Programme included
three objectives: to support the increased the visibility of police
officers, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the
Police Service and to reduce bureaucracy.
The Programme's business case included a narrow range of implementation
options but did not consider how forces would use mobile technology
or the amount of local spending required. The business case did
not assess the number of devices that each force would need to
deploy to meet the three objectives or consider the impact of
partially equipping forces.
Police forces told us that from the outset the Department and
the Agency's focus was on getting devices into the hands of police
officers quickly rather than on the business benefits from the
use of mobile devices; there was little thought given to baseline
performance, the benefits or the outcomes required, and the rush
to deliver devices to a strict timetable meant that opportunities
to derive business benefits from process improvement could not
be taken by all forces.
9. The Agency's evaluation of the increase in
police officer visibility showed that on average officers spent
around 18 minutes extra per shift out of the station through the
use of mobile devices.
The Agency also reported, but could not fully explain why, some
forces spent extra time in the station as a result of using devices.
There was little central measurement by the Agency of the other
programme objectives, to increase efficiency and effectiveness,
and to reduce bureaucracy.
This lack of evaluation has prevented a clear understanding of
the Programme's benefits across the police service.
10. The police forces who gave evidence to us
said that they had made improvements as a result of the Programme
which had enabled them to reduce the number of back office staff
and to make cash savings, in addition to increasing officer visibility.
- Wiltshire Police told us that
they had invested around £1.7 million in changing the way
they work, reorganising business processes and reducing control
room staff. 
- Hampshire Police told us that the time savings
from using mobile devices have allowed them to employ fewer people
in back office functions. For example, officers can now take a
statement at the house of a victim or witness, have it signed
electronically on the mobile device, and send it straight to the
custody suite at the police station and into the electronic court
- The Metropolitan Police told us that they had
made savings by using mobile devices to issue tickets, such as
fixed penalty notices, instead of paper forms. Information from
the ticket is fed via the mobile device directly to back office
systems without the need to re-type the information.
11. While there are clearly some high performing
forces, the levels of performance and savings are not consistent
across the Police Service. Only one in five forces has used the
technology effectively to improve their operational processes.
In addition the Programme has resulted in significant system-wide
variation, in: the number of devices in use, (some forces have
no devices, whereas others have sufficient for all officers and
supporting staff); the amount of business change activity undertaken;
and, the amount of additional efficiency savings made on top of
the additional officer time spent out of the station. This variation
has limited the amount of cash and efficiency savings resulting
from the £71 million invested. 
While the Association of Chief Police Officers encourages
forces to use the Agency's Police Online Knowledge Area to share
best practice, and conducts specific workshops and seminars, more
needs to be done to enable all forces to benefit to the same extent
as the high performing forces.
12. During our hearing the Department claimed
that the Programme would deliver around £500 million cashable
the Department provided a note to say that it actually estimated
£125 million cashable savings; arising from process efficiencies
in areas such as crime recording and issuing fixed penalty notices.
However, the 32 forces who responded to the National Audit Office
survey only reported total cashable savings of around £600,000
(annually) from 2011-12.
15 C&AG's Report Para 2.12, 3.4 Back
C&AG's Report Para 3.5-3.6 Back
C&AG's Report Para 1.8 Back
C&AG's Report Para 2.4 Back
Q 1 Back
Q 101; C&AG's Report Para 3.20 Back
Q 120; C&AG's Report Para 3.20 Back
C&AG's Report Para 3.21 Back
Q 98 Back
Q 4; C&AG's Report Para 3.22 Back
Q 17 Back
Q 1 Back
C&AG's Report para 20 Back
Q 147; C&AG's Report paras 3.12-3.15 Back
Q 44 Back
Q 86 Back
Ev 25 (Letter from Dame Helen Ghosh dated 20 March 2012) Back
Q 92; C&AG's Report para 3.22 Back