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NPCC Questions and Answers on Conducted Energy Devices (aka Taser)
CC Simon Cole Blog: Uniform that's uniform! February 2017
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council January 2017
CC Stephen Kavanagh Blog: Our world has gone digital January 2017
DCC Louisa Rolfe Blog: Coercive control can affect anyone. December 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council October 2016
DAC Helen Ball Blog: Reflections on 'Look Outs'. October 2016
Sara Thornton Blog: It's time for a sharing economy in policing. October 2016
CC Simon Bailey: We have to intervene earlier to stop child abuse. August 2016
Police Chiefs' Blog: CC Sara Thornton - Chief Constables' Council July 2016
Mark Rowley blog: Communities defeat terrorism - 3639 times a day, 1 August 2016
CC Sara Thornton blog - Unity & respect needed, not hate crime. June 2016
Cmdr Simon Bray Blog: Legal highs? Not as legal as you thought – 26 May 2016
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Steve Kavanagh Blog: Policing the digital age - December 02 2015
Adrian Leppard: Fraud and Cyber-crime: What's being done? October 15 2015
Sexting, young people and the police: Working towards a common-sense solution
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Police Chiefs' Blog: Sara Thornton, Chief Constables Council July 2015
A future for local policing - Blog by CC Simon Cole, NPCC Lead on Local Policing
Commander Chris Greany NPoCC Blog, 8 July 2015
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh: We have to think digital, 11 June 2015
CC Jane Sawyers: International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), 15 May 2015
Martin Hewitt: Building on the success of the Not Guilty campaign, 11 May 2015
Commander Chris Greany NPoCC Blog, 3 March 2015
Shaun Sawyer: Smashing the bonds of modern slavery remains a policing priority
Pat Geenty: Take care of yourself and your property this Christmas, 12 Dec 2014
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Police And Communities Working Together To End FGM, 3rd July 2014
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Francis Habgood - Building trust in crime recording, 14 April 2014
Autism Society - Autism awareness can improve police practice, 2 April 2014
ACPO President on our FOI Disclosure Log publication, 21 February 2014
The Future of ACPO - A blog by our President, Sir Hugh Orde, 17 Jan 2014
Simon Bray - Understanding the impact of new psychoactive substances,17 Jan 2014
Guest Blog, Paul Burstow MP - Policing and mental health,12 December 2013
Martin Hewitt - Rape discussion provokes strong feelings, 2 December 2013
Suzette Davenport - Drink and drug drivers, 2 December 2013
Mick Creedon - Fighting serious organised crime, 18 November 2013
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Andy Trotter - Secret Justice, 30 April 2013
Garry Shewan - Stalking. Know the law, use the law, 18 April, 2013
International Women's Day - Women in Policing, 8 March 2013
A word from ACPO president, Sir Hugh Orde - 22 February 2013
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David Whatton - Violence against women and girls, 4 December 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 15 November 2012
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Dave Thompson - Police work to tackle gun crime on our streets, 30 October 2012
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Alex Marshall - Drones, 9 October 2012
A word from ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde - 25 September 2012
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David Whatton - Investigating rape, 8 March 2012
Dave Thompson - Renewed focus upon gangs is welcomed by the police, 8 Feb 2012
Simon Byrne outlines the benefits of ANPR technology, 7 February 2012
Simon Cole - Responding to mental ill-health and disability, 17 January 2012
Ian Dyson - The new police 101 non emergency number, 11 January 2012
Andy Adams - Custody Matters, 28 November 2011
Rob Beckley - 'Big Society' and volunteering, 17 November 2011
Simon Byrne - Policing prostitution and sexual exploitation, 2 November 2011
Tim Hollis: Policing Drugs in Austerity - Adjusting to the challenge,12 October 2011
Olivia Pinkney: Policing the exploitation of labour, 26 September 2011
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Sir Hugh Orde: Tension between politicians and police is healthy
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Phil Gormley: Recovery of vehicles - the truth, 28 June 2011
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Sir Norman Bettison: Prevent Review, 7 June 2011
Janet Williams: Policing cyberspace, 9 May 2011
Mark Rowley: Surrey Police, bureaucracy and the frontline, 15 April 2011
Chris Sims: Frontline Policing, 11 April 2011
Graeme Gerrard: CCTV surveillance, 3 March 2011
Garry Shewan: Stalking and harassment, 10 February 2011
Sir Hugh Orde: A new direction, 26 January 2011
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CC Stephen Kavanagh Blog: Our world has gone digital January 2017

stephen kavanagh

Our world has gone digital. Smartphones are everywhere and have overtaken computers as the most popular way we access the internet. The world has changed, and 93% of adults in the UK now own a smartphone compared with 36% in 2000. The spread of technology into virtually every sphere of our modern lives means that digital evidence is now available at almost every conceivable crime scene. Evidence can include smartphone footage of disorder in a public place, a social media trail relating to a missing person, or a record of which devices connected to the wi-fi router at a property that has been burgled. The pace of change in our lives and how crimes are taking place is not slowing down with the volume of data globally set to grow tenfold from 2013 to 2020. The “Internet of Things” is another dimension for us to consider, creating an explosion in machine to machine communication that has already exposed new vulnerabilities as seen by the cyber attack that briefly disabled Netflix, Twitter and other major sites last autumn. Policing is already dealing with drones and encrypted messaging apps on which children have been groomed and we will soon be faced with investigating autonomous vehicle collisions and smart cities.

However, in policing we are by and large still using traditional operating models and tactics to address a transformational challenge that is as great as any we have experienced since the foundation of the Metropolitan Police Service in 1829. Undoubtedly digital investigations are still viewed as a niche or specialism in some forces. Capabilities exist and have been enhanced in recent years but are often left siloed and are insufficiently accessible to frontline officers. We must work hard to change these approaches. It is good to see that the Office for National Statistics has started tracking reports of online crime alongside traditional offences. The first fruits of that exercise were released in July. The findings were striking and important if government and policing are to reduce harm in our communities. It revealed 5.8m online fraud and computer misuse offences that had not previously been captured centrally, compared to 6.3m ‘traditional’ offences. Worryingly the ONS figures did not include crimes against businesses or online abuse such as stalking, harassment, revenge porn, sexting or grooming. These crime types cause significant and lasting harm to victims and we know are significantly under-reported. From early next year these numbers will be included in the quarterly crime statistics and trends will be very clear which will no doubt be the focus of further scrutiny.

In recent years police forces have gone through significant change as a result of austerity. The need to reduce costs has focused minds but in some places encouraged a retrenchment into perceived ‘core business’ as a way of managing demand. There has been considerable activity across forces to respond to changing crime types and understanding of threat, harm and vulnerability but we need to work more effectively with the College of Policing on new initiatives to improve evaluation of best practice. As HMIC recognised, it is unrealistic to assume that individual forces can address the scale and complexity of digital transformation on their own.

Consistency for victims is vital because the internet challenges our existing geographical structure of policing and concepts of social space, victimhood and crime types. A fraudster or hacker can target multiple victims in numerous locations from the comfort of their bedroom. Evidence can exist in multiple jurisdictions and formats but needs to be brought together into one digital case file for presentation at court. And we need to facilitate the same tools that we all use in our everyday lives to ensure that we give a better service to the public, whether in contacting the police, providing advice, preventing crime and giving guidance and reassurance or harnessing investigative leads.

This is where the leadership role of the NPCC digital policing portfolio that I chair, comes in. Since establishing the portfolio in April we have brought together the three NPCC digital programmes that will set the strategy for digital policing nationally, regionally and locally.

The Digital Public Contact programme provides a simple and reliable digital contact service between the public and the police. It’s about improving digital interaction with the public and providing a singular portal to access policing services.

Digital Investigation and Intelligence is focused on improving digital skills, knowledge and capabilities in order to better protect the public in a society that is becoming increasingly digital and Digital First looks at integrating digitised policing into the reformed Criminal Justice System, to deliver the best service to the public

We have already mapped the landscape of force readiness for this work and have launched a set of pilot projects in forces to act as proof of concepts of new tools, skills and ways of working around such issues as digital forensics, online stalking and harassment and hate crime. We are working hard to build an understanding of the scale of the challenge in order to influence the Home Office and Police Reform and Transformation Board. We are building a network of contacts across forces that we can help to support and encourage digital transformation.

The value of this work will be judged by whether it makes a difference to frontline officers, and whether victims experience a better service as a result. Capturing and sharing good practice is essential, such as the innovative work that Staffordshire have carried out to improve triage of digital forensic examination at crime scenes, Gloucestershire’s employment of Digital Media Investigators in the force control room to identify early opportunities for evidence capture, or Derbyshire’s amazing Digital PCSO providing a visible reassuring police presence on social media. Such initiatives can make a real operational impact but this is limited if the service’s people, systems and processes are not aligned to support and encourage such innovation.

Over the coming months we will be increasing the pace of such digital transformation activity in forces. We’ll be trialling new capabilities such as app based knowledge on initial investigative steps for officers arriving at the scene, better tools to triage digital evidence and data exploitation tools to link different data sets. We will be setting up a new centre to help harness research and development opportunities within industry and academia, and bringing greater coherence to the development and deployment of new capabilities. And we will be working intensively with forces on shaping their own transformation activity and sharing emerging good practice. Policing will look different as a result of this transformation but the essential Peelian purpose of policing; to prevent and detect crime and protect the public, will still endure