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IBM urges forces to use free 'box of toys'


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Agreement between the Police ICT Company and IBM means all forces across the country have access to wide range of tech tools at no cost.


IBM has reached an agreement with Police ICT allowing forces access to its data analysis tools

Date - 19th January 2017
By - John Toner, in Hinckley

Tech giant IBM has urged every force in the country to make the most of an agreement allowing free access to its data analytics tools. 

A deal between the Police ICT Company, set up police and crime commissioners, and IBM means all 43 police forces can now use advanced data analysis software to help detect, investigate and monitor crime. 

Speaking at the Police ICT Summit 2017 at the Jury's Inn Hotel, Hinckley, Leicestershire, Mark Goosens, IBM lead for the Home Office and police clients, said: "A lot of the challenges for policing today are around data and trying to get data joined up. 

"What we wanted to try and do is have a unified approach analytics across the United Kingdom saving money for forces and from our perspective. 

"i2 Access is a way of trying to represent data in a way much easier for humans to understand. 

"It is designed to understand telephone records, bank account activity, addresses and so on so that when you drop data into it, it will identify suspicious activity such as a large number of calls or transactions between individuals. 

"It's a bit like Microsoft Office, it's a bunch of tools to understand data and to be used as an analytical tool."

Software, expert advice and training is all available from IBM to forces at no charge and Clare Mortimer, executive partner in cognitive analytics for the firm, urged forces to take advantage of that arrangement. 

She said: "You didn't just get a box of toys with this agreement but also the expertise to build the capabilities of those toys for specific uses.

"Online learning is now available for officers to teach themselves how to use the tech and there is support available to help forces exploit the new services, we want to start shifting our focus to that.

"We want to you to help us start building patterns which can be repeated as a framework locally, nationally and regionally; knowing that they wont quite fit all situations but using at as a base. 

"Tell us how we can help you put this technology to best use."

The Police ICT Company is partially funded by contributions from all 43 PCCs and "acts as a bridge between the policing, technological and commercial worlds" by helping to "buy ICT better, manage it better and exploit new capabilities more successfully."

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