24N caught up the Police force’s head of ICT Stuart Grainger to learn about how it has been using the software to boost efficiency, speed up arrest times and move criminals through the justice system quicker.
Durham Police began using Dynamics around two years ago and went live with the system in April last year.
A new system was required because budget cuts had led to a fall in staff numbers and the remaining employees had to find a way to balance this without compromising the quality of work done.
IT staff at the Police force needed access to tools that would allow them to better manage their time.
One reason the organisation selected Microsoft Dynamics was the lack of training required – rather than having to go through a lengthy process of training staff to use a new system, they were able to almost instantly adapt to the new solution.
The Microsoft product also adhered to the required security standards as well as offering the flexibility that the Police require to operate.
A three-factor authentication, including username, password and an electronic fob, are required to access the systems.
Prior to implementing the new solution, Durham Constabulary was suffering with a large amount of duplicated data within its system but has since been able to reduce this by around 95%.
This duplication occurred because IT staff were using multiple complex and confusing systems and they were often required to enter the same information a number of times into different systems.
Since implementing the Dynamics Solution, Durham Constabulary has seen a multitude of benefits – when questioned, Grainger claimed he could talk “forever” about the positives he has seen.
“The biggest benefit is the improvement in data quality cemented in seeing all the information in the same place, so an officer can see a 360 view of a person, location or object,” Grainger claimed.
“The data quality improvements have achieved significant cost savings as data is more accurate at the point of capture, removing costly data checks from the process – this is very important with reducing budgets and ‘doing more with less.’
“More importantly this leads to faster and more accurate decision making in policing, delivering better outcomes for the public, allowing us to make neighbourhoods safer, tackle problems and solve crime,” he added.
As no formal training was required to use the new system, Durham was able to save money in what otherwise would have been a very time consuming and costly area.
The Microsoft solution also allows users to view information via different means, from the web, a Desktop machine or mobile devices.
Grainger explained that the time in which it takes to input a report has decreased dramatically – previously, a domestic abuse report would take two hours to process but this has now been cut down.