Cumbria and Durham police constabularies create their own apps as they digitise the fight against crime

Cumbria and Durham police constabularies have created their own apps to make it easier for officers to record statements and information about crimes in their area.

The constabularies are using Microsoft Power Platform to modernise and streamline how they work. This will reduce paperwork and free up officers, allowing them to spend more time in their communities, which helps build trust between the public and police.

Microsoft partner Tisski worked with the constabularies to build a digital “pocket notebook” app, as well as apps that help officers record statements, and access and log information relating to vehicle offences, use of force, sudden death and anti-social behaviour.

The apps were created quickly – what would have usually taken a year, took just four months – and was made easier using low-code tools. They can run on any device, are automatically updated, have in-built regulatory compliance and security standards, and can integrate with core police systems, such as the Police National Computer.

In some cases, multiple applications were rolled into a single, easy-to-access alternative. Now, entire solutions can be managed and maintained in-house, helping Cumbria save on licensing costs and massively reducing the time needed to introduce new features.

Durham will benefit from Cumbria’s development by adopting the same technology, enabling them to roll it out quickly and easily.

Chief Superintendent Jonathan Blackwell, Digital Data and Technology Command, who leads a collaboration between Cumbria and Durham constabularies, said: “Like policing, technology is constantly advancing and the partnership between Cumbria Constabulary, Durham Constabulary, Tisski and Microsoft means that as innovative ways to solve challenges emerge, we are in a good position to use them.

Cumbria and Durham police constabularies have built their apps on data, unlocking new insights into how they work and allowing them to use that information to automate certain tasks. The constabularies have introduced the apps a part of a focus on working in a more digital way, rather than trying to fit technology into paper-based processes. This has created a foundation of innovation that they can continue into the future – subsequent apps can be developed quickly without large overheads, and these can be amended rapidly if laws or procedures change. Additionally, as Power Platform benefits from evergreen updates from Microsoft, the solution will not become outdated as technology evolves.

Marie Abery, Dynamics Business Group Director at Microsoft UK, said: “Power Apps is empowering organisations to create their own tools that tackle inefficiencies, save time and reduce costs. This is crucial in the public sector, where value for money is a key consideration. I am delighted that Cumbria and Durham constabularies have taken solid steps into their digital future, from creating a single app to rolling out more apps that help officers connect with citizens.”