As the Police Digital Service’s (PDS) David Bailey rightly pointed out in the opening of this week’s PDS webinar, burglary is an incredibly personal crime and, for so many, the thought of a stranger rooting through their home is difficult to come to terms with.
For police forces up and down the UK, being able to offer the right support for victims of burglary is key – along with enhancing efficiency associated with capturing details of the crime, and gathering the data needed to help inform a more proactive approach to combatting incidents of this nature.
On Wednesday 13th July, Tisski’s CTO, Kevin Ingrey, and Humberside Police Detective Chief Inspector and Lead for the National Burglary Portfolio, Doug Blackwood, joined David live to showcase and share an insight into Tisski’s new app – created to help police forces log information on site, offer bespoke victim support and monitor nationwide trends.
Built on Microsoft Power Apps and available out-of-the-box via the PDS solutions catalogue, Microsoft Partner, Tisski, have worked in close partnership with DCI Blackwood (as well as the College of Policing, frontline officers and academics) to create a burglary investigation app free to use and fit for purpose for police forces up and down the country.
As Lead for the National Burglary Portfolio, DCI Blackwood is responsible for driving forward initiatives to help minimise burglaries around the UK, and represents not only Humberside Police in this arena, but all police forces nationwide.
Talking of the portfolio’s main aim, DCI Blackwood said: “There’s an uplift going on, with 20,000 new cops coming through. Now, what we’re concerned with is how we translate the experience of a seasoned frontline investigator by giving them something in their hands to structure conversations [with burglary victims] and provide advice.”
With Tisski’s purpose-built Power App, police officers can record details of a burglary while attending the scene of the crime – as well as any information provided during door-to-door enquiries – via a handheld device, such as their mobile phone or tablet.
This digitisation of information capture eliminates the need to re-type upon return to headquarters, enabling frontline officers to do their job quicker and more efficiently.
As well as live, ‘at-the-scene’ information capture, Tisski’s Burglary Investigation Power App provides officers with a question set based on recommendations from academics who have studied burglary and its impact at great length. The app also provides a means to contact victims via email to offer bespoke advice and support, as soon as a day after the burglary has been committed.
Additionally, data captured via the app can be collated and analysed to identify patterns and trends, all with the aim of helping police forces stay one step ahead of the game and use the insight provided to enhance their clampdown on burglaries.
“All information can be centrally collated to be reviewed for national trends, and this means we’ll be able to react quicker to trends as they come,” explained DCI Blackwood. “[For example], we know there are travelling gangs committing crimes of this nature – [the app] will help start tracking that and getting on top of it.”
This week’s live demo comes ahead of the app’s official launch at the Serious Organised Acquisitive Crime Conference in Cardiff, this September – and with police forces nationwide being provided free access to a whole host of Microsoft tools as part of National Enabling Programmes, DCI Blackwood said: “We want to get the ball rolling on this. We need forces to embrace Power Apps.”
While records management system (RMS) integration isn’t available out-of-the-box, this is a service Tisski can provide to help tailor the app to an individual force’s needs.
When asked about RMS integration, Tisski CTO, Kevin Ingrey, said: “We’ve taken an approach that allows the data to be easily exported into other platforms as necessary, but we deal with integrations all the time, including in the world of policing. The data mapping is already there in a lot of cases, so it should be quite quick and straight forward to go from A to B.”