Penning expands scope of Police Innovation Fund

27 Oct 15
Policing minister Mike Penning has announced a series of changes to the Police Innovation Fund that are intended to lead to greater reform in the sector.

Under the changes, the fund will now accept bids at the so-called proof-of concept stage, as well as those that are ready for full implementation, as part of moves to target funding at grassroots ideas at a much earlier stage.

Penning said this would support the transformation of the police for the 21st century. “I particularly want to see forces working together this year to develop bids and genuinely explore new concepts and technology.”

Ways to rethink partnerships and of emergency services working together to improve public service is one area in which ideas, will be welcomed especially welcome.

Once example would be a project already supported by the fund that created a single public contact and command-and-control centre used by Warwickshire and West Mercia Police and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

Such opportunities for blue light integration are encouraged by Home Secretary Theresa May, among others, to improve efficiency and make savings while emergency services’ budgets facing reductions.

Penning said: “By opening up [the fund] to proof-of-concept bids, forces can seek funding to develop an interesting new idea or approach which could drive innovation, collaboration and ultimately make the police better at doing their jobs.”

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