Digital-first: The Policing Vision 2025

In a previous edition of Hot Topics, we explored the growing importance of digital-first services right across the public sector – and in this edition of Policing in Focus, we’re delving a little deeper into what exactly that means for police forces in the UK. Read on to learn more about the findings of The Policing Vision 2025, and how digitisation can bolster your capabilities in the years ahead.  

What is “digital-first”? 

Simply put, digital-first refers to accessing a service through a digital channel in the first instance. It’s commonly used with respect to the public, rather than digital solutions used internally as part of established business processes. For instance, online contact eForms are a great example of a digital-first system - service users can provide information online, sparking an internal process within an organisation to process and respond to the data received.  

Digital-first policing  

According to The Policing Vision 2025, “The internet is changing the way the public are using technology; the ways they want to engage with policing and their expectations of the services they wish to receive.” As with the wider public sector, the demand for online services within policing is constantly growing.  

To tackle this, policing organisations across the country are placing even more priority on digital transformations. From online crime reporting to web-based communication, digital-first technologies are becoming commonplace within the sector – allowing the public to provide valuable information through a digital method to suit them. As with any service, improving user experience and catering to preference have undoubted positive effects on engagement.  

Digital-first technologies  

It’s no question that digital-first solutions are of utmost importance in the current UK policing climate – but how exactly are these achieved? Digital-first transformations are often achieved through the use of three core technologies – either individually, or in combination.  


Putting a UI and UX optimised front-end interface on essential data capture, eForms are one of the most popular technologies in public sector digital transformation. Particularly useful for policing, eForms allow users to provide an array of information through a secure, web-based form. Fully customisable and with applicable features like tick boxes, data and time formatting, mandatory fields and more, eForms are an excellent method in providing digital-first contact to the public. 

Learn more about eForms  

Mobile applications  

Another method of front-end digitisation are mobile applications, of which most of us are very familiar with as part of our everyday lives. Allowing police to create systems that make use of native features within hand-held devices, mobile applications are another potential avenue into digital-first solutions. Just like eForms, mobile apps are easily integrated with back-office systems, allowing inputted data to reach existing infrastructure without human interaction.  

Learn more about apps 

Robotic process automation  

Automation is another powerful tool in facilitating digital-first interactions, emulating interactions within virtual environments to complete digital processes as a human would. Also known as RPA, robotic process automation is a key technology in bridging the gap between front-end digitisation and back-office systems. In policing, RPA is used within a wide range of processes – from criminal record migrations to system synchronisations – but its ability to marry separate technologies together is often overlooked. Autonomously completing repetitive rule-based actions, RPA has the ability to bolster many digital-first solutions for added ROI.  

Learn more about RPA 

How can digitisation benefit your policing organisation? 

Looking to learn more about policing digital transformations? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team, join us at one of our upcoming online and in-person events, and take a look at our library of real-life public sector use cases. Want to keep up with all of the latest industry news and pioneering thought leadership? Take a look at the rest of our blogs.