Police using data to tackle crime and free up officer time


A new multi-million-pound centre will see police using AI and data from forces across England and Wales to protect the public and free up officer time on the frontline.

The new Centre for Police Productivity will be the first of its kind in British policing and will use new tools to spot emerging crime trends and tactics to drive efficiency.

The centre will work with police forces to develop new tactics before testing and sharing them to tackle crime early on and save officer time.

The centre is a result of the Government’s independent Policing Productivity Review which identified huge potential to save police officer hours by improving productivity.

It is being created with Government funding and the Home Office has selected the College of Policing, as the standards setting body, to house the centre.

One of its first tasks will be to work with partners in policing on a central hub for police data.

The productivity centre will include expert teams who understand data and behaviour change, visiting police forces across the country to ensure high quality and consistent information is being shared and used to create new tactics to tackle criminals and enhance productivity.

With high quality data the centre will be able to share AI solutions which can significantly reduce the hours officers have to spend going through thousands of records.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, CEO at the College of Policing, said this will be one of the largest collaborative pieces of work ever undertaken by the service.

“This is a significant moment for policing and gives us an unprecedented opportunity to use data and new technologies that will allow officers to spend more time on the frontline keeping our communities safe,” said Chief Constable Marsh.

“We can make huge gains in productivity by turning to technology so that we can spot crime trends without officers having to trawl through thousands of pieces of data.

“Using data-driven insights and innovation will mean officers can make their organisations more efficient and effective so that more time can be spent on frontline policing to keep the public safe.”

Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “It is critical that our police officers are out on our streets, stopping criminals and supporting the public, and we will continue in our plan to remove any barriers that keep them from this.

 “I want to see cutting edge innovation ingrained in our policing, and the new Centre for Police Productivity and our reforms to cut red tape will remove the bureaucracy that holds officers back.

 “By investing millions in facial recognition, AI, and new knife detection technology, we will continue to give police the tools they need to rise to the challenge of modern policing.”

In addition to fighting crime, the work of the centre will mean national standards can be set for productivity so that there is consistency across England and Wales.

Rachel Tuffin, Director at the College of Policing, said: “This new centre will complement the knowledge we have from the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction where police use evidence and knowledge to make informed decisions.

“We now have an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate policing's use of data and new technologies by taking a more joined-up and evidence-based approach to keep the public safe.”

Contact Information

Jason Lavan

Media Relations Manager

College of Policing


Notes to editors

The College of Policing is the standards setting body for police in England and Wales.

What we do

  • We connect everyone working in the police and law enforcement to understand their challenges.  
  • We use evidence-based knowledge in everything we develop.
  • We help police officers and staff; researchers, academics and learning providers; the international policing community; and the public.
  • We give a voice to professional policing on standards, skills and capabilities.