WA Police Force: Digitally transforming operations for police

November 24, 2020

3 min read

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Challenge

Western Australia (WA) Police Force services the 2.5 million square kilometers of the world’s largest non-federated area of jurisdiction with a population of 2.4 million.

As part of their Digital Policing Program, WA Police Force was looking for better ways to engage with the community and improving officer safety by providing better situational awareness.

The WA Police Force Digital Policing program aims to deploy and sustain digital outcomes to develop new approaches and transform the ways of working. Digital Policing will not only enable Officers and the Agency to improve policing outcomes but also provide the tools and a platform necessary to collaborate and integrate with other agencies and the wider community.

The digital policing team researched the feasibility and implementation of relevant and required solutions. The team found network and connectivity as critical elements required to implement a solution that needed to reach across the largest single policing jurisdiction in the world.

The challenge was to provide a solution enabling officers to access systems in metro, regional and remote areas of WA. Better community engagement and safer police officers through digitisation were the objectives to be met.

Key issues

The three key issues WA Police Force were facing included the following:

  • Network and connectivity: Over 1.94 million people reside in the Perth Metropolitan Region with the remaining 460,000 across the state. This demanded a network solution capable of connecting all officers across the region.
  • Visibility in the community: Increased time in-field for Officers is required for increased community presence and public confidence. The mission of WA Police Force is to be an exceptional Police Force for our community by providing trusted and valued policing for Western Australia.
  • Police officer safety: Officers require near real-time intelligence / information sharing to better inform Officers and increase safety.

The solution

The digital policing team looked to mobility as the key enabler to empower police officers to have access to information when they need it and identified Telstra as the right partner for the project. The aim of this project was to build a safer connected community and become an aspiration for other states and state departments. Creating a safe and secure environment where citizens and police officers work together was the priority.

  • The complete solution was deployed in a short span of 8 weeks. Immediately following the Apple iPhone 11 launch in September, there was support from within the organisation to equip police officers with the latest in technology. A group of ‘change champions’ was identified from across the state to lead the first roll out. A total of nearly 4000 devices was deployed over two months by the end of December 2019.
  • Mobile Device Management. MDM was implemented to manage the mobile device connected to the WA Police network to ensure security while deploying apps to officers for ease of use.
  • At launch, applications were pushed to the devices. This included Office 365 and Axon body worn camera applications as well as WA Police applications - OneForce Locate and OneForce Search.  
“The introduction of mobile devices to Frontline Officers has turned out to be a gamechanger for policing in WA.”
A/Superintendent Andrew
Henderson, Digital Policing
Program Director, WA Police Force 

Outcome

  • Network and connectivity: the solution will contribute to a safer community, where citizens and the WA Police Force will be more connected than before.
  • Visible and active policing: Information at their fingertips provides more effective use of Police Officer time through the ability to complete admin tasks in-field, resulting in increased community presence and public confidence.
  • Police Officer safety: The phones and in-built applications provide near real-time intelligence and information sharing to better inform Officers, increasing situational awareness and safety for officers.