The sheer volume of demand for policing, coupled with resource limitations in the force, is a bottleneck that prevents timely incident response. One in five calls received by police control rooms in England and Wales is from concerned citizens seeking updates on their cases, and yet 20 million calls each year remain improperly handled by police staff due to convoluted or poor-quality information scattered across multiple systems. This fragmented system not only hampers the staff's ability to access critical details required for victim updates, but it also squanders an estimated £250 million in resources annually. As a result, victims are left feeling unheard and undervalued, diminishing their confidence and trust in law enforcement. The sentiment erodes a crucial element in crime prevention, as only engaged citizens are more inclined to report offences.
Forward-thinking police forces have recognised the need for a comprehensive solution to improve victim engagement and support and have turned to technology as a catalyst for change. Presenting at Salesforce World Tour 2023, officers from Hampshire, Humberside and Merseyside Police shared their digital transformation journeys to reshape the victim journey end-to-end.
The officers explained how Salesforce's CRM platform allows them to innovate without replacing existing technology. "Salesforce was able to understand our problems and identify potential solutions, and we had a good working rapport early on," said Robert Brind, Digital Silver at Hampshire & Isle of White Constabulary, and Thames Valley Police.
Digital police station
Brind revealed that 20% of their demand relates to victims contacting their control centres wanting updates on crimes, which they have difficulty dealing with effectively. Working closely with Salesforce, Thames Valley Police has implemented an automated victim journey that leverages Salesforce's technology capabilities to send automated messages throughout the crime or incident lifecycle, thus keeping the victim informed and engaged.
He explained: "Our journey with Salesforce started by looking at victims' journey from the contact point and response to the investigation and through the criminal justice system. We needed a transformational piece of work, and Salesforce was the only company that gave us that vision. They understood what we were trying to do and helped us understand what we were trying to articulate to others."
By leveraging Salesforce's capabilities, police forces are now able to centralise information, providing officers with a comprehensive view of victim cases. This streamlined approach eliminates information silos and empowers officers to deliver more personalised and efficient support to victims.
Anthony Jackson, Head of Contact & Dispatch at Merseyside Police, said Salesforce's platform has allowed the force to reimagine victim communication. "Through automated messaging and real-time updates, victims are kept informed and involved, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs addressed."
Christopher Philpott, ACO, Director of Enabling Services at Humberside Police, concurred and highlighted the speed in implementing the solution with Salesforce as a significant benefit. He explained: "We have already sent between 2,000 and 2,500 messages with updates to victims of crimes within a couple of weeks of going live with the system. As a force, I don't think we have ever taken a project from concepts to delivery in such a rapid space of time."
The officers said they initially concentrated on low-risk crime types to ensure a controlled and effective implementation of the digital transformation programme. As the benefits became apparent, they are now gearing up to expand the solutions to more complex victim journeys and higher-risk crimes, gradually transforming victim support across the board.
"Do not underestimate the complexity of the digital transformation journey," said Brind, reflecting on the lessons learned. "Policing is different from any other business that needs to improve customer engagement. There will be multiple victims: corporations, juveniles, kids, and adults, and everyone has complex circumstances associated with them. In building your victim journeys, you must also build in this logic."
Technology has become a powerful catalyst in reshaping the way Hampshire, Humberside and Merseyside Police communicate with citizens. By embracing technology-driven victim support, police forces continue their journey towards a more efficient, citizen-centric approach to policing, ensuring victims feel valued, empowered, and willing to report crimes with renewed confidence.
Looking ahead, Thames Valley Police is working with Salesforce to build a victim portal where victims can see crime progress, contact officers directly, and be contacted back. They also want to expand beyond crime cases to witness care and court processes.
In Humberside and Merseyside, the plan is to leverage the platform to improve data quality to enable future capabilities for managing more complex victim support.
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delivered at Salesforce World Tour London.