Home Office to fund UK police’s joint forensics and biometrics program

December 7, 2016 - 

The UK’s Home Office announced it will provide more than £26 million in additional police transformation funding in support of 28 projects or technology plans over the next three years, including a joint forensics and biometrics program, as well as a national data analytics focus, according to a report by Government Computing.

The funding, which was allotted in the 2015 Spending Review to help boost law enforcement technology use, will help the projects gain stronger traction for a more collaborative strategy to improving UK law enforcement capabilities.

“Overall, the second round of bids from the police transformation fund awarded £40 million to projects including bids commissioned by the police-led Police Reform and Transformation Board,” police and fire service minister Brandon Lewis said. “This includes recently announced funding to tackle modern slavery and expand the graduate recruitment scheme, Police Now. Early this summer, the home secretary awarded £23 million to a range of different projects in the first round of bidding.”

“Set up as part of the spending review in 2015, the fund is designed to allocate extra investment to continue the job of reform and shape policing for the future. Police and crime commissioners and chief constable representatives sit on the board alongside senior leaders in policing, with the final decisions on bids made by the home secretary.”

As part of a police-led bidding process, the 28 projects will gain funding to support both regional and national initiatives.

Key projects include £2 million to establish a data analytics lab that will determine how information can be compiled between different forces, £2.3 million to support the Police ICT Company and the Police Technology Council with bids for the Police Reform Transformation Board, more than £5.9 million over a two year period to establish Dorset Police’s forensic and biometrics project to reduce the time it takes to provide DNA results that can support investigations, and over £137,000 for Leicestershire-led project to implement more efficient crime-response system as part of partnership with Merseyside and Derbyshire police.

The fund reflects a broader financial commitment over several years to support collaborative and innovative projects aimed at transforming policing.

“Already we have seen funds used to expand innovative graduate schemes as well as national initiatives to tackle the scourge of modern slavery,” Home secretary Amber Rudd said. “It is my pleasure to award funds to a raft of projects today, from cutting-edge approaches to reducing crime through to digital projects that will help promote diversity in policing.”

Previously reported, the UK’s Home Office posted a request seeking a technology delivery partner to work with the Home Office Biometrics (HOB) Program team to provide a “large, complex program converging IT systems into a cohesive, cost effective, user-centered service”.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.