Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police have been successful in their request for £0.811m of funding from the Precursor Police Innovation Fund.
The government announced in 2013 that a Police Innovation Fund worth up to £50 million a year would be established from 2014-15. £20 million has been made available as a “precursor” fund to pay for proposals in 2013-14 which have the potential to improve policing and make it more efficient.
Policing Minister Damian Green said: “This fund will incentivise collaboration, support improved digital working and enable Police and Crime Commissioners to invest in a range of other innovative delivery approaches that have the potential to improve policing and deliver further efficiency.”
The forces have been successful in their bid to secure funding to develop a contact management and command and control facility to allow more effective working as part of the wider blue light family. The funding will also enable further investment in integrated ICT communications across the strategic alliance. Communication from the Policing Minister confirms a further £1.647m will be made available to both forces in 2014-15. Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police have also requested an additional £4.28m, which is not yet approved and will be subject to evaluation of progress and delivery of benefits in the next funding round in April 2015.
Ron Ball, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our bids for Blue Light Service collaboration and IT innovation have been recognised. Together with our alliance partners in West Mercia we are at the forefront of collaboration and we welcome the opportunity to generate greater efficiency. This grant will enable us to do that.”
Barrie Sheldon, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, said: “Through the strategic alliance both West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police are leading the way nationally in collaboration, being able to achieve significant savings, whist maintaining frontline policing which is important to our communities.
“The grant awarded by the Home Office is excellent news for the people of West Mercia and clearly evidences the innovative approaches being taken.”