The figures are stark. The total number of police officers, community support officers and other staff employed by polices forces in England and Wales fell by 5.6% between 2011 and 2012. This number is set to drop again in 2013. The police, like all government agencies, must find ways of operating efficiently with shrinking budgets.

There’s a big problem here: while police budgets have been cut, the criminals are still hard at work. And with the digital transformation of society well advanced, today’s law enforcement agencies are having to fight crime on a rapidly growing digital front, whilst also tackling ‘more traditional’ criminality.

So how do they fight back in the face of severely stretched budgets? Firstly, Capgemini has a vision for ‘shared’ back office delivery in policing whereby forces free up vital funds to reinvest in frontline policing. How? By jointly running back office processes using the same hardware, infrastructure and application software, thus keeping both operational costs and CapEx down.

Secondly, we’re already seeing how the digital transformation of police processes and technology is making a big impact, notably by reducing cost while increasing productivity – the holy grail of modern policing. Let’s take social media, for example. Real-time social media is driving down the speed of incident handling from weeks and days to just minutes, thus cutting both cost and effort.

The digitisation of police systems and process will reduce duplication and the need to re-key information. It will cut overtime through better visibility and control with a full view of shift planning, integrated with command and control and HR systems. The potential for efficiency gains and ensuing cost savings as a result of this integrated case management approach is compelling.

These and other opportunities presented by digital transformation are discussed in a new Capgemini video that I urge you to view.