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New research reveals that ineffective data management may be costing police valuable time

London, England – January 31, 2018 – Each UK police officer could potentially be losing up to 28 working days a year due to siloed data, according to new research released today by Dods Group PLC in partnership with MarkLogic Corporation.

The study was conducted to explore how police forces today are using data and what the barriers are to doing so more effectively. Front-line and senior employees from 34 regional police forces across the UK were surveyed.

Respondents were near-unanimous (91%) in stating that they would save time on a daily basis if they could access all operational data through one single search rather than multiple searches as is currently the case. Over half (57%) of those surveyed said they would save up to 60 minutes every working day, while more than a third (34%) stated they would save an hour or more.

Based on the survey, if an hour was saved every working day, each police officer would save 28 working days a year*. This would equate to 4.2 million working days each year if it were true of the entire UK police force, which employs 150,000 officers.[1]

The research also highlighted further evidence of the vital importance of more streamlined access to data among police forces, with 95% of respondents stating they need to access two or more databases or systems when working on a single case. A quarter of those surveyed said they rely on access to six or more databases or systems.

Imran Razzaq, Public Sector Lead for UK, Ireland and European Union at MarkLogic, said: “Reliance on data and information has never been more important to modern policing than it is today. The communities’ police forces serve have become more complex and diverse, demanding a holistic response in the face of threats ranging from safeguarding to cybercrime and terrorism”.

“However, this research highlights that the UK’s police forces are facing the same challenges and frustrations experienced by numerous businesses today, namely that data stored in silos takes significant time to access and analyse. By adopting solutions to integrate data and provide 360-degree visibility, the impact for police forces is potentially enormous in terms of improved accuracy in clear-up rates, increased operational performance, and faster, more accurate and earlier intervention.”

For more information on the research, download the full whitepaper here.

About Dods Research

As one of the leading providers of in-depth, bespoke political and public sector analysis in the UK, Dods Research provides its clients with market insight that develops an understanding of the current and future landscape in Westminster, Whitehall and beyond.

A diverse range of organisations use Dods Research to engage with civil service, NHS and local government audiences.

For more information, please visit

Notes to Editors

In partnership with MarkLogic Corporation, Dods Group PLC conducted this research to explore how police forces today are using data, what the barriers are to using data more effectively, and the importance of being able to share data with other organisations.

The research collected responses from 34 different regional police forces across the United Kingdom between 15th September 2017 and 18th October 2017. Of the 173 respondents to the online survey, 79% have been serving in the police force for 11 years or more, with the majority (69%) of all respondents being police officers (59%) or police community support officers (10%). Other roles included management, analyst, IT, communications and operations.

Respondents were asked in one question how much time they thought they would save per day on average if they could access all operational data through one search, rather than multiple searches. Answers varied from 15 minutes or less (9%), to 16-30 (21%), 31-60 (27%) and 60+ (34%).

*To arrive at the figure of 28 working days (based on a typical working day of eight hours) we have tallied the amount of time lost over one year per police officer. This equates to 227 hours, which is based on one hour lost each working day (260 minus 33 days for annual leave and Bank Holidays). We then divided this figure by eight (hours) to arrive at the end total of 28 working days. To demonstrate the potential impact if this were true for every police officer across the UK, we have multiplied this figure of 28 against the total number of UK police officers (150,000), which equals 4.2 million working days each year.

[1] According to a Briefing Paper on Police Service Strength published by The House of Commons Library Research. Figures correct as of 31st March 2017.