STIRLING, Scotland — Aug. 11, 2005 — Central Scotland Police and Microsoft Ltd. today announced that Microsoft® Windows® has been selected as the police force’s platform of choice. Under the new contract, Central Scotland Police will replace some open source technologies with Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003, Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Office to support the police modernization agenda, flexible working arrangements and better engagement with other public sector partners.
Central Scotland Police and Microsoft will work together closely on a range of information and communication technology (ICT) projects. These will include an electronic document management system for better response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, and document sharing for police staff that will help deliver best practices and achieve better value for money.
“Central Scotland Police has always been forward-thinking in its use of information and communication technology to help protect the public and provide efficient and value-for-money services to communities,” said David Mulhern, deputy chief constable for Central Scotland Police. “In the current security environment there is a growing need for local force systems and national standard systems to converge where possible, and to streamline communication with criminal justice partners. Having a committed, reliable and value-conscious software partner that shares our vision and recognizes the challenges facing modern policing is critical.”
Through the “Safer Central” policing philosophy (see below), which underpins the way in which Central Scotland Police currently operates, and Operation Advance, one of the five operational pillars of the philosophy (see below), the force has been focused on improving efficiency to deliver more effective frontline service to communities in Central Scotland.
A key factor in that drive has been value for money, and a review of the police force’s information technology (IT) department at the start of 2005 concluded that Central Scotland Police would achieve better value and greater efficiency through the following changes:
Immediate use of off-the-shelf programs to reduce the need for customized applications
Greater compatibility with partner organizations’ ICT systems
Increased staff satisfaction through use of familiar technology
Reduced number of operating systems
Increased access to a wider range of software products
This was followed by an extensive study completed by the police force in March 2005 that resulted in Central Scotland Police’s decision to work with Microsoft through a new three-year Enterprise Agreement.
“Naturally we are delighted with the conclusions arrived at by Central Scotland Police, which enable us to prove the value and interoperability that Microsoft products offer. We look forward to working with the police force to introduce new products and services, including document and record management and collaboration technology,” said Terry Smith, senior director for Microsoft Ltd.
The benefits-based evaluation led Central Scotland Police to prefer a Microsoft solution over its legacy open-source solution that was introduced in 2000. Microsoft Windows was judged to offer the best overall value for money and operational functionality. In some areas open source installations will be retained.
“Although an open-source solution met our needs in the past, it was becoming more difficult to maintain in the increasingly joined-up environment of today,” said David Stirling, head of ICT for Central Scotland Police. “As the need for increased integration and compatibility with other criminal justice agencies and community partners grows, the value of similar infrastructures becomes more important. A shift to a largely Microsoft infrastructure gives us the ideal platform from which to drive this convergence forward.”
The decision to implement Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office will bring a number of benefits to Central Scotland Police. The study showed that the police force will achieve significant annual savings. Charteris plc, a Microsoft partner, is providing training and consultancy.
“Central Scotland Police is basing its IT system on the Microsoft platform because its internal study shows that it offers the best value in total cost of ownership, ease of use, interoperability, reliability and support,” said Nick McGrath, head of Platform Strategy for Microsoft Ltd. “Central Scotland Police estimates that it could save 30 percent on IT maintenance costs and 25 percent of IT staff’s time by using Microsoft technology.”
The Microsoft agreement also paves the way for Central Scotland Police to introduce new ways of working for its frontline police officers.
“Previously our police officers could only access the wide range of IT solutions available to assist them in their work from their base location. This presented real difficulties when deciding on strategies to respond to community concerns,” Mulhern said. “In the future, officers will be able to go to where they can be most effective and at the same time access the full range of IT solutions, which will enable them to do their job better.”
Operational Chief Inspector Alan Douglas added, “For staff to be able to carry out their duties without the restriction of having their IT facilities at only one location will remove a barrier to efficient working and shall allow them to complete all their duties from the place where they can be most effective.”
Implementation of the Microsoft platform began in August, following Central Scotland Police’s involvement in the policing of the G8 Summit.
About Safer Central
This is the over-riding philosophy by which Central Scotland Police carries out its day-to-day business. It underpins the process by which all aspects of Central Scotland Police’s communities’ concerns are addressed and it endeavours to target these issues in an intelligence-led and meaningful way. Listening to community concerns and responding in an appropriate manner is the cornerstone of the Safer Central philosophy. The philosophy is implemented on a daily basis through five operational pillars — Safeguard, Overlord, Reassurance, Tundra and Advance.
About Operation Advance
This is Central Scotland Police’s approach to providing support to the four other operational pillars of Safer Central. It is achieved through successful implementation of key strategic initiatives and developments, currently taking place throughout the police force. These initiatives continue to transform the way Central Scotland Police delivers its services by the introduction of new technology, with a key aim to reduce the burden of paperwork, giving officers more time to do what they do best — policing their communities.
About Central Scotland Police
Central Scotland Police serve the public within the Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, and Stirling Council areas. Central Scotland Police consults widely, listens closely to its communities, works in partnership with key agencies and promotes its accessibility to the public. Central Scotland Police’s purpose is to address the public’s concerns and expectations by tackling those activities that erode the quality of life and damage the general well-being of the people of Central Scotland. It uses the skills and experience of all its staff to focus its efforts on action to: Prevent crime and the fear of crime; Pursue and detect those who break the law; Preserve peace and public order; and Promote safety and reassurance in its communities.
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