Happy Birthday to us!

By Steve Norris, Managing Partner for the Criminal Justice and Emergency Services Practice at O2 

This week we’re celebrating the 2nd birthday of the O2 Criminal Justice Practice.  I honestly don’t know where the time goes but now’s a great time to think back over what we’ve achieved over the past 2 years.

The O2 Criminal Justice Practice was devolved from the Public Sector part of the business. One of our first challenges was to look at how we could make the most impact on Criminal Justice organisations to help them to deliver community safety in a digital world.  The immediate priority was to analyse the existing situation and see where the opportunities were to utilise technology further. We quickly came to the conclusion that there was a lot of potential in applications.

Theresa May, the current UK Home Secretary delivered a speech about using the power of technology to transform policing, so that all forces are digital by 2016.  We already felt that adopting an applications strategy was the right way to go and this development really reinforced that we were on the right lines.  The PCC’s had only recently been elected, so Police budgets were under immense scrutiny. This meant that delivering maximum value, both financially and in terms of productivity was absolutely crucial. That’s why we sat down together with Capita to work collaboratively and come up with the best possible solution for all police forces.   The result was our Blue Light Managed Mobility (BLMM), officially launched at BAPCO last year.

Working so closely with 27 Police Forces (as well as 11 Fire Services and four Ambulance Trusts) means that we have seen a varied approach to digitization. True digital transformation has three stages – the first (and simplest) of which is providing digital platforms. These help front line staff process information without a trip to the station, driving efficiencies and economies of scale.

However, BLMM isn’t just a digital forms based solution – It’s much more than that –  it is a business transformation solution.  It provides federated searches across various databases  – PNC, PND, Records Management Systems (such as Niche) and Command & Control Systems (such as Steria Storm), which are all selectable from a single page.

If the information that is searched is used to create a digital case file, the application then updates these systems it has accessed in a federated way with the new information.  The system was designed around a GPRS technology (2.5G) so it isn’t bandwidth hungry and will also cache data should cellular or Wi-Fi coverage not be available.

We work with our partners and customers to develop our BLMM and help drive digital transformation.  We also use and share our expertise and innovation with volunteer organisations working on the front line every day supporting the Emergency Services. We are hosting a number of ‘deep dive’ sessions with O2’s volunteer partners – SCAS Community First Responders, the National Search and Rescue Dog Association, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes and the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue  – to help understand their technology challenges and support the digitization of their systems.

For more information on Blue Light Managed Mobility view my video blog here.

About Steve Norris

Steve is our Managing Partner for the Criminal Justice and Emergency Services Practice and, with over 23 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry, he’s well-qualified for the job. He has dedicated the last seven years to working closely with, and truly understanding, O2’s public sector customers across central and local government, the third sector, and now the Police and Emergency Services. He’s passionate about helping to drive real change for the good of our public services. You can contact Steve at @stevejnorris or uk.linkedin.com/in/o2stevenorris