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Home Office dishes out £23m to digital policing projects

A range of digital policing projects across England and Wales have been awarded funding from the police transformation fund

The Home Office has awarded 14 projects a total of £23m to improve policing through digital initiatives.

The grants are part of the police transformation fund, which was set up as part of last year’s spending review.

Initiatives that have been awarded funding include an integrated technology project across the East Midlands which was awarded £2.2m in 2016-17, with a further £3.5m being allocated the following financial year, as well as £2m for a Metropolitan Police-led project on collaborative procurement.

The fund is run by the Police Reform and Transformation Board, with the final decision being made by the Home Office. In total, £76.4m is available for police transformation projects this financial year, although this includes money already allocated for police digital programmes and armed policing capability enhancment.

New home secretary Amber Rudd said that reforming police services “must continue” and that she expects all forces across England and Wales to benefit from the projects.

“The police transformation fund is incentivising policing to meet future challenges, and I am delighted by the strong early response to the launch of the fund from police and crime commissioners and chief constables. It is clear that they share my passion and determination to finish the job of police reform,” she said.

‘Outdated IT’

In January this year, the then home secretary Theresa May called on police forces to update their IT, saying they spent too much money on “outdated IT”.

“Too much money is still spent on expensive, fragmented and outdated systems,” she said at the time.

“Police officers all too often use technology that lags woefully behind what they use as consumers. And there is an unacceptable lack of digital join-up with the criminal justice system and other agencies.”

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