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Private partner will lead force’s modernisation programme

Innovation and integration partner will shape future operating model at West Midlands through technology and new procedures

An embedded private company will be responsible for shaping the future policing model and developing innovative services through an improved information technology strategy at West Midlands Police, it has been announced.

The Innovation and Integration Partner (IIP) was recommended by the force’s Technology Task Force as the best way to improve and modernise technology by integrating innovation within the force’s future policing model.

The private sector partner will work with an in-house team from West Midlands Police and will be responsible for designing an operational model based around the force’s key capabilities as well as embedding the new model. It is envisaged that to do this, the partner will act as an agent to contract third party service providers.

A procurement process has begun to identify the partner and it is hoped that they will be appointed early next year.

The modernisation drive follows further reductions to the force’s budget of £100 million over the next four years in the wake of the Comprehensive Spending Review announcement in June.

A report outlining the details of how the IIP would work with the force recognised that West Midlands Police “does not have sufficient breadth and depth of business change capability to meet the scale of the challenge”.

The report stated: “This programme of work will inevitably involve multiple solutions delivered by multiple suppliers.

“Integration support will ensure standardisation in process, service, technology, industry best practice, and continuous improvement.”
The responsibility for service delivery will remain with the force by the internal team.

In a joint statement the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones and Chief Constable Chris Sims agreed that the best way to transform the way the force does business and improve service, productivity and cost effectiveness would be through a private partner.

The remit of the IIP includes improving services with the “innovative use of technology” while at the same time working within the force’s significant financial challenges.

CC Sims said: “I believe my officers and staff are among the most committed and talented professionals in the public sector but there is also much we can learn from the wider public and commercial sectors.

“Any partner we work with will have to understand the values and ethos of the public sector and have an in-depth knowledge of policing and criminal justice.”

An advert for expressions of interest has been placed in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Mr Jones added: “We continue to face to core challenges – how to improve the service to the public while also meeting significant budgetary reductions. I am confident that working with an IIP will help us make the improvements we need.

“Any decisions relating to the direction and control of police officers and staff will remain with the chief constable under my governance.”

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