UK | December 6, 2019
LEICESTERSHIRE, UK — A development team representing forensics for the whole of the East Midlands, and the Minerva Programme Team, has been pioneering a project that is set to revolutionise the way forensics is brought into core policing.
Last week, the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) Forensic Services launched Niche Forensics: an international first. NicheRMS is an intelligence platform that provides policing intelligence management in a single, centralised system. It is the case management system used by half of the police forces in the UK – including the five forces in the East Midlands – to record, prevent and solve crime.
As every officer is already trained in Niche, the aim was to create something that could exist within it, rather than create a standalone system. By creating a forensics capability within Niche, it means that officers won’t need to log on to two separate systems to pull all lines of enquiries together. Time saved in the office means more time out and about, protecting our communities.
This new functionality will allow officers and staff from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire police forces to have seamless management and analysis of evidence; from initial scene attendance, through to seizure of property, forensic analysis and preparation for court.
Within a few hours of the functionality going live on 27 November, the five forces saw forensic worksheets being created by frontline officers and tasked to their respective Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) for further action. As all the five forces are using the same programme, the information being collected can easily be shared across borders to improve and enhance collaborative policing efforts between the regions.
“We are very excited that the East Midlands is using the Forensics functionality in NicheRMS,” said Mike Gardner, UK/European Business Director of Niche Technology. “This will increase efficiencies within the forces, help reduce their operational costs and enable them to increase public safety.”
The EMSOU Director of Technical Services, Andrew Price, said: “Aside from the upskilling of our staff and officers, I anticipate the benefits will also be felt nationally. Considering there are 43 police forces in the UK and 25 already use Niche, it is possible half of the policing population could join us in the future. If they were all to follow in our footsteps, seeing us united through one system and negating the need for service and maintenance contracts, it would generate savings of an estimated half a million pounds for national policing.
“As we are the national lead and pioneers for this project, anyone who wants to follow in our footsteps will be offered development consultation to help them along the way. I’m extremely proud of the hard work and determination that has been poured into this project, and offer thanks to those that have supported EMSOU-FS through-out the process. Alongside gaining national accreditation across multiple disciplines ahead of schedule, this success is putting us at the forefront of the constantly evolving world of forensics.”
EMSOU is one of the largest collaborative units in the country, delivering specialist capabilities on behalf of the five East Midlands police forces (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire). Led by a Regional Deputy Chief Constable, the unit’s expertise lies in six areas: Forensic Services, Legal Services, Major Crime, Regional Organised Crime Unit, Regional Review Unit and Special Branch.
NicheRMS is a complete, proven intelligence platform that provides policing intelligence management in a single, centralized system. NicheRMS software enables law enforcement agencies to report, prevent and solve crime. NicheRMS is licensed to more than 150,000 sworn officers across Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Ten of the largest 30 agencies run NicheRMS in the countries we serve. For more information, please visit www.NicheRMS.com.
Minerva is a group of 25 police forces working collaboratively to maximise the effective use and development of their common core policing system, NicheRMS. Minerva will transform the way forces work together and share information; connecting them using their existing technology and defining a common approach to core policing business processes. The programme of work will also deliver enhanced integration with the wider Criminal Justice System and, over time, with other core policing systems.