Bobbies on the net: a police workforce for the digital age

Document type
Hitchcock, Alexander; Holmes, Ruby; Sundorph, Emilie
Date of publication
23 August 2017
Employment, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This paper focuses on whether the UK police workforce is currently fit to meet digital demand. Reform conducted interviews with over 40 police officers, staff, government officials and experts, visited five forces, held a focus group, and analysed public data.

The report finds that a range of changes are required to make forces fit to fight digital crime. Different parts of the workforce will need to change in different ways. Nevertheless, the whole workforce requires better equipment, a better understanding of digital demand and crime-fighting techniques, and new (less-hierarchical) working patterns. Police forces should make better use of secondments, and introduce on-demand cyber-volunteer units to help fight the most sophisticated crime, such as cyber-attacks.

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