“New and creative ideas” designed to “make policing more effective” are to be encouraged through changes to the Police Innovation Fund, policing minister Mike Penning has announced via the Home Office.
This year, the multi-million pound fund will consider ‘Proof of Concept’ bids as well as ‘Implementation-Ready’ bids in a move designed to reward more breakthrough ideas than ever before.
The change will mean that police forces will be able to seek funding to assess an innovative idea, as well as fully-worked through proposals. This will allow for more funding to be targeted at ideas coming from the grass roots of policing at a much earlier stage.
Among projects previously supported by the Police Innovation Fund are:
*Kent Police working with partners to develop solutions to tackle online child sexual exploitation
*A single public contact and Command and Control Centre used by Warwickshire and West Mercia Police and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
*The Metropolitan Police Service’s ‘Police Now’ recruitment scheme, which helps to attract the brightest and best graduates to policing
*The rolling-out of body-worn camera to eight forces
By supporting increased efficiency and collaboration between different police forces, the Police Innovation Fund will help forces save around £250 million over the next five years, not to mention “thousands of hours” of police time.
Further than ever before
Mike Penning – the Home Office Minister for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Victims – said: “This year, the Police Innovation Fund will go further than ever before to support the transformation of the police for the 21st Century. By opening it up to ‘Proof of Concept’ bids, forces can seek funding to develop an interesting new idea or approach which could drive innovation and collaboration and, ultimately, make the police more efficient at doing their jobs. I particularly want to see forces working together this year to develop bids and genuinely explore new concepts and technology.”
‘Implementation-Ready’ bids are especially welcome in the following areas:
*Technology-enabled public contact and communication channels to improve public interaction
*Enhanced workforce efficiency to improve criminal justice outcomes
*Digital forensic and investigative capabilities to quickly identify offenders
*Data analytics and intelligence-led activity to improve decision-making and tasking to enable crime prevention
*Rethinking partnership and Emergency Services working to provide a better public service
*Building capabilities to tackle hidden crime and protect vulnerable people
The Home Office points out that the assessment criteria for this year’s bids have been revised to reflect the increased emphasis on bids which improve outcomes and can be scaled on a national basis.
Economic Crime Academy launches global financial crime course
The City of London Police’s Economic Crime Academy has welcomed Standard Chartered Bank’s investigation managers from around the world to the Square Mile.
The sixteen delegates, from London, the UAE, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Kenya and Nigeria are visiting the City of London for a fortnight to attend the Academy’s new Investigative Techniques programme.
The learning programme has been designed as part of a unique partnership between the Economic Crime Academy, which is a key pillar of the National Policing Lead for Fraud, and Standard Chartered.
Working closely with the bank to meet the challenges of banking-based investigations in the current environment, the Academy has designed the curriculum to cover in-depth the investigative skills and strategies needed to effectively tackle financial crime.
The programme has been approved by the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditations Board. Delegates who successfully complete their studies will be awarded ‘accredited’ status and gain 40 educational credits that can be used in further studies with the University of Portsmouth.
As well as training law enforcement agents from across the globe, the Economic Crime Academy specialises in developing bespoke programmes to fit the needs of the financial sector with a footprint in the City of London.
The Investigative Techniques Programme is typical of this approach, incorporating Standard Chartered’s policies and practices as well as cutting-edge practices directly relevant to their operations.
All those completing it will be awarded the status of Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (International), and be entitled to use the letters ACFS(I) after their names.
Investigating and preventing financial crime
Kathy Hearn, director of the Economic Crime Academy, said: “This course has been designed and developed in a way that’s specifically tailored to the financial sector’s needs. By the end of it all delegates will be in a much stronger position to investigate and prevent financial crime, wherever they may work in the world.”
Hearn added: “The need for these courses was recently highlighted when the British Crime Survey stated that there have been more than five million fraud offences in the past year across the UK. A proportion of these crimes will have been committed against the banking sector, which is why it’s so vital that their staff are trained with the very latest fraud prevention techniques.”
Michael Welch, group head of shared investigative services at Standard Chartered, explained: “The bank is proud to be involved from the outset with the City of London Police’s innovative programme of counter fraud and core investigative technique training, which we expect will become the industry-wide standard of competence in investigations. By enhancing the knowledge and expertise of our investigators, we fully recognise the practical benefits the initiative will offer globally for a wide range of investigations.”