Durham Police have this week reported that SentrySIS has allowed the force to make efficiency savings of more than £1million.
Since its introduction in 2018, SentrySIS has helped save Durham Constabulary the equivalent of one police officer working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 1,232 days in time savings alone.
Multiple investigations which utilise SentrySIS are also seeing quicker resolutions by an average of 10 days faster than those that do not use it.
The secure, cloud-based system allows retailers to report shoplifting offences directly to the police whilst providing them with a secure crime sharing and intelligence portal about active offenders in their area.
Part of the platform also allows CCTV files to be sent securely from local councils directly to the police along with the generation of digital witness statements signed remotely by people located anywhere in the world. Since its introduction, over 5,800 pieces of CCTV footage have been transferred digitally via SentrySIS and where officers have taken over 13,521 digital statements from witness and victims of crime.
Historically, when police required CCTV footage as part of an investigation, officers would be required to physically attend a central CCTV Hub control room to obtain the required footage on a disk. Now, due to the use of SentrySIS, the CCTV footage can be easily requested by officers and upload by the local authority, saving travelling time and fuel costs.
SentrySIS also allows officers to create official MG11 witness statements with a digital signature no matter where the witness or victim is located in the world. This action is provided that the person giving the statement is over 18, not vulnerable and not the victim of a serious offence which should always be completed face-to-face. Statements have been obtained used SentrySIS by Durham Police from people located as far as Australia and Singapore, which traditionally would be extremely difficult to obtain.
Minor road traffic collisions can also be reported via the SentrySIS platform, with over 9,081 reported since its introduction by the force.
Operational lead, PC Paul Vickers, said: “SentrySIS has allowed us to modernise and streamline the way we do business as an organisation, resulting in efficiency savings of more than £1million. The time saved thanks to SentrySIS is reinvested back into policing, allowing us to process justice quicker and provide the people of County Durham and Darlington a more efficient police service".
"The platform has been particularly invaluable during the pandemic, allowing officers to continue to progress investigations quickly and efficiently without the need for face-to-face statements. One example of the system being put to good use was an incident in which a bride and groom had items stolen from their hotel room during their wedding. They went on their honeymoon the following day, but we were able to get a witness statement from them over the phone as they waited at the airport to board their flight. By the time they returned home several days later, the crime was solved.”
The platform was first introduced in Durham Constabulary by Detective Superintendent Kevin Weir and Inspector Adam Norris.
Det Supt Weir added: “The modern world is changing rapidly, and policing must evolve with it to ensure we continue to provide the best service for the communities we serve. By using technology like SentrySIS to work smarter not harder, we have achieved significant cost and efficiency savings across the force. These savings are put back into our communities where it matters.”
Chris Nriapia, Director of SentrySIS, said: “The partnership forged between SentrySIS and Durham Constabulary is now the blueprint for how UK police forces can utilise cost-effective, digital-based technologies to create significant efficiencies".
“The adoption of SentrySIS by Durham means that front line services can be diverted to where they are needed the most and officers can conduct their essential daily tasks in an efficient and modern way. This direction also supports the key ambitions and priorities set out in the National Policing Digital Strategy 2020 – 2030.”
Joy Allen, Police and Crime Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, added: “Making £1 million in efficiency savings by using the SentrySIS system is a fantastic achievement. The system has revolutionised the way Durham Constabulary deal with taking remote witness statements and their transfer of media when investigating crimes, which has enhanced the overall quality of these investigations. Enabling officers to remotely transfer CCTV and take remote statements saves a lot of time and money for the force and the businesses and witnesses involved".
“Safer business is a priority for me in my Police and Crime Plan and I understand the importance of protecting businesses who have been victims of crime. The efficiency created by the system for the force and businesses is significant and I would encourage any independent businesses not already signed up to the system to do so. It is completely free and gives businesses an easy way to interact with the force if they are a victim of crime.”
Further details can be found on the Durham Police website here - https://www.durham.police.uk/News/News-Articles/2021/September/Innovative-software-results-in-efficiency-savings-of-more-than-1million.aspx