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College of Policing replace POLKA good practice sharing forum


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Ageing technology platform shut down to make way for Police ICT Company's Knowledge Hub.


College of Policing CEO Mike Cunningham 

Date - 6th February 2020
By - Gary Mason

The College of Policing has closed down its POLKA online information sharing platform and moved over to the Police ICT Company’s Knowledge Hub for securely sharing good practice and ideas within forces and criminal justice partner agencies.

POLKA which was unmoderated and based on older technology that could not be accessed remotely, was shut down at the end of January.

The membership area of the POLKA platform allowed officers to keep a record of their continued professional development (CPD) and access the services already provided by the college.

There was also a view that the two sites represented a duplication of effort and could be seen to be competing with one another. POLKA was a well-established forum for exchanging all kinds of information, not just ICT. The Knowledge Hub was focused on information and updates relating to ongoing national programmes, the publication of common ICT standards and procurement information.  

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, College of Policing CEO, said: ”Our police Online Knowledge Area – POLKA – has been used by thousands of police officers, staff and others connected to criminal justice across the UK.

“However, the technology platform that supports POLKA was coming to the end of its technical life and no longer met the needs of policing in terms of access from mobile devices and availability to partners outside of policing and government.

“Following the closure of POLKA last Friday, officers and staff are invited to sign-up to the Knowledge Hub, where they will be able to join more than 650 groups on a range of different policing areas, ask questions and share information on policing events, research, intelligence and guidance.

“The College of Policing has worked with the Police ICT Company to combine the best from POLKA within the existing Knowledge Hub to provide users with a place to share information, ideas and good practice in the way they want.’

The College of Policing and the Police ICT Company say they are working to ensure Knowledge Hub continues to provide an accessible and secure place for those working in policing to collaborate, which meets both the current and future needs of the service.

Rachel Tuffin, Director of Knowledge and Innovation at the College of Policing, said: “Knowledge Hub represents an exciting opportunity to quickly exchange information and ideas so I’m sure officers and police staff will be keen to sign-up if they haven’t already.

“I would also like to thank the 30,000 active users on POLKA who shared good practice and used their knowledge and expertise to help colleagues over the last ten years.”

The Police ICT Company are running webinars to provide a walkthrough of the site for new The Knowledge Hub users and to answer any questions. The next session will be held on Wednesday, 19 February from 3pm to 4.30pm.

Officers and staff can sign up by visiting Knowledge Hub.

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