Staffordshire Police will be working with Boeing as its ‘strategic IT partner’ in a whopping £110m, 10-year contract awarded to the giant American company by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Staffordshire.
The contract is intended to improve the capability and capacity of the force and to reduce IT costs. According to Staffordshire Police, the contract, which includes running IT systems and a number of new projects, could exceed the £110m headline figure stated.
As part of the contract, a ‘policing IT centre of excellence’ – a collection of IT specialists and approaches – will be created for Staffordshire.
Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, said that Boeing was chosen ahead of as many as 52 other contenders.
“The ambition I set out in 2013 for Staffordshire Police to be the most technologically advanced local police service in the country is already on track but the partnership with Boeing will take the progress made to a whole new level,” he said.
According to Ellis, policing in Staffordshire had “fallen short” of providing officers with the right technology to do their jobs.
“As crime becomes more complex with borders for criminals swept aside because of the internet and social media, it is essential that we ensure police have the right technology to tackle crime locally and wider,” he suggested.
Staffordshire Police chief constable, Jane Sawyers, added that officers had been “hampered by outdated technology and a lack of real-time information to help them do their job”. She claimed that the new contract will see officers and staff equipped with “state-of-the-art technology”.
This technology will increase visibility of officers on the streets, allow people easier access to officers, and enable citizens to have a better experience when interacting with officers as the police would be better equipped with information. In fact, she said, the police will have better information than criminals leading to earlier intervention.
“This will help officers spot warning signs earlier due to the information they will have access to,” said Sawyers.
The statement issued by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire contains no further information in regard to the new contract including the exact IT services that Boeing will be providing.
The 10-year contract period may raise some eyebrows, as public sector departments have been called on to put a halt on major outsourcing contracts, particularly those that leave the departments locked into one vendor for a lengthy period.