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  5. fi Series Scanner Case Study: Hampshire Constabulary

Hampshire Constabulary

Hampshire Police boost crime intelligence with
Fujitsu scanners

Industries:

  • Government

Offering Groups:

  • Scanners

Solution Areas:

  • Imaging Solutions

Regions:

  • United Kingdom
  • Europe

Challenges:

  • Manual systems burden scarce resources
  • Red tape & manual error hamper effectiveness
  • Delays in making crime intelligence available

Benefits:

  • High quality information available quickly
  • Streamlining equivalent to 12 extra full-time staff
  • £150,000 in efficiency savings
  • More resources to fight crime
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A Policy Exchange report from June 2007 has shown that one in five police officers is pulled off local duties at any one time due to the confines of red tape. This level of administration can be frustrating to officers who are keen to get on the streets, and places a strain on the resourcing of often over-stretched departments. However, using Fujitsu technology, Hampshire Constabulary is battling back against bureaucracy. By implementing a new system based around Fujitsu's fi-5120 scanners, the force has been able to streamline the manner in which it deals with the paperwork generated by day-to-day policing. This has dramatically cut costs, improved data quality, and helped a number of officers get away from the admin forms and back on the beat.

Hampshire Constabulary polices a population of 1.8 million people including the cities of Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth. This is a job which falls to over 3,800 officers based at 47 stations around the county. Understandably, the force relies heavily on the shared information it gathers from around the county. This crime intelligence is built up from the hundreds of forms which are created as a result of police work on a daily basis, whenever a member of the public is dealt with by an officer and given a ticket for whatever reason. Major contributors to this wave of administration are the 140,000 Street Encounter forms which are created each year as a result of members of the public being stopped by officers for a variety of suspected crimes (statutory reasons) such as violent crimes, breach of ASBOs and potential terrorist activity.

The existing manual system of filing Street Encounter forms, which involved officers passing their hand-written forms to clerks for data input, had become a great burden on the force's resources. As Inspector John Murray of Hampshire Constabulary explains, "each form was taking 9-10 minutes to enter the system. When you consider the 400 forms which are generated each day, this added-up to a great deal of police support time spent entering data". The inefficiency of the manual system didn't end there. Insp Murray continues: "worst of all, it often took weeks or even months until the information was available on the system!"

Hampshire Constabulary quote

In line with new government legislation, the force was tasked with improving the manner in which crime intelligence was generated, stored and used within the constabulary. Whilst considering how to meet this challenge they were introduced to Geoff Smith, a former policeman with Leicestershire Constabulary, who had created Geoff Smith Associates Ltd in 1996 in order to plug a hole he had noticed in the force's administration system. Smith explains, "I realised that in many police forces there wasn't an acceptable document management system in place to help process the wealth of information which is collected by officers on a daily basis". GSA Ltd had since formed a partnership with Fujitsu, allowing them to combine Fujitsu Scanners with their own ICR data capture solution and Cyclops Document Management system to process and capture the kind of data which is critical to policing.

GSA Ltd advised Hampshire Constabulary that a new scanning system could cut down on red tape and boost operational ability. By combining Cyclops with the speedy duplex scanning offered by Fujitsu's fi-5120 model scanners (30 pages per minute), Hampshire's officers are now able to input Street Encounter forms in under a minute. Better still, the crime intelligence is available to be distributed to officers and other authorities within 24 hours.

Geoff Smith underlines how the quality of data circulated has been improved by the new system: "Under the old manual method there would be a frustrating to-and-fro of these forms between officers and clerks due to incorrectly inputted information". This is no longer the case as the new system through GSA's workflow and tasking module immediately flags missing mandatory fields to officers, such as personal details and notes on the suspected offence. "Any errors are made immediately clear," stresses Insp Murray, ‘so officers can make their corrections straight away. The end result is quality, amendable data, which is quickly available to help the force in its investigations of ongoing crimes". The boost in efficiency has had an impressive knock-on effect in terms of cost-cutting. By streamlining the entire process, Insp Murray estimates that the force has freed-up the person hours of the equivalent of twelve full-time staff. Not only does this mean more police on the streets of Hampshire, but the force has saved over £150,000 in efficiency savings.

Andrew Cowling, Senior Marketing Executive, at Fujitsu is pleased to see the benefits Hampshire Constabulary has enjoyed as a result of implementing their fi-5120 scanners. He noted, "officials in all walks of life are forever telling us how they are bogged down by the burden of red tape. Whilst regulations are obviously important no-matter what your industry, we believe in making document management processes as quick and accurate as possible".

Cowling continues, ‘in the current economic climate, it is vital that organisations ensure their systems are running as efficiently as possible. It is great to see that Hampshire Constabulary has made a significant saving whilst helping their officers to get back to doing more of what they do best – getting away from their desks and onto the serious business of fighting crime on the streets".

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