Sussex Police has scooped a national award for how the force proactively uses millions of pieces of data to put information in the hands of officers and staff in order to improve performance and make our communities safer.

The force won a Management Consultancy Association Award for Data Analytics and Innovation in the Public Sector in partnership with digital firm Atos.

By interrogating data from the millions of calls and around 500,000 incidents which are reported to Sussex Police annually, the force can better understand its demands, and focus resources on preventing crime.

Some of the benefits include new dashboards to help safeguard children, new ways of identifying risk of domestic abuse, and better identification of and insight into the most dangerous suspects and offenders.

Detective Sergeant Laurence Cartwright from the Strategic Insights team said: “We are very pleased to have had our data analytics work acknowledged in this way, and we look forward to improving existing dashboards and building new products in the year ahead”.

This project, which is partly being funded by the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, is being hailed as a ‘game-changer’.

The PCC Katy Bourne said: “21st century policing is increasingly reliant on processing data, from the digital information retrieved from mobiles and laptops to incident reports and intelligence. I am, therefore delighted that the Sussex Police Strategic Insights Team have been recognised for its ground-breaking and innovative use of data analytics. With the exponential growth of digital information and increasing demand on police forces, we need to make data work for us rather than against us. Huge congratulations to Detective Sergeant Laurence Cartwright and his colleagues.”

Atos’ SVP Public Sector & Defence Northern Europe Nikki Kelly said: “Atos is delighted and proud to have been selected with Sussex Police as the winner of the MCA award for Data and Innovation in Public Sector. The award reflects how our strong partnership has delivered real benefit to the force, working in collaboration making a real difference to policing and helping to support the citizens of Sussex. The key to this success has been the innovative insight driven from agile working and advanced analytics and algorithms.”