Man and woman sitting at computer

Formation goes live – modernising online police reporting

We’ve had a busy few weeks.  Our new forms solution has gone live in an initial Beta trial.

Our internal name for the product is “Formation”.

The first form to utilise the new system is our new Shoplifting Reporting form.

This form is the result of collaborative working with retail store security staff and team members from our organisation who take shoplifting reports from retailers via phone and in person.

Start of a sprint review

To-date 61 forms have been completed by retail security staff.  This has saved them having to call us on 101 and provides a simple interface with which to give us key information.

As mentioned in the previous article the team are building formation iteratively to ensure we get real world feedback to help the product evolve.  We have already made some adjustments to the form to optimise the experience for security staff, as well as enhancements to the administration system used by our teams to quickly process the reports.

In the next week or so we will be adding the ability to upload CCTV footage of any file size and format.  This will mean retailers can send us footage at their convenience, without having to send the footage to us on a disc or ask for a PSCO to attend the store to retrieve the evidence.   This will shorten the time from the suspected offence taking place and our teams being able to review the footage, potentially increasing the likelihood of catching suspects and preventing further offences.

We are firm believers in the phrase “never digitise a bad process” and this work’s success has been down to our colleagues’ willingness to look across the entire customer journey and be willing to change things for the better.  Slapping a form online without working closely with the people filling in the form and the people processing the form would not have moved anyone forward.  The digital team are very grateful for the engagement and support we have had already.  Of course, we also believe “digital never ends”, this is not a project with a defined start and end, the journey will never end, we need to continually adapt and improve.

Mapping before and after processes

Last week we paid a visit to our local Web Usability testing centre to review our user success levels and re-tested our website structure. It was a useful visit and we’ll share more on that in a future article.

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