Cumbria police teaming up with American technology company in first for UK

Cumbria will become the first part of the UK to work with an American technology company Credit: Cumbria police/ITV News

Cumbria Police has become the first force in the UK to sign a deal with an American technology company, aimed at allowing officers to spend more time in communities rather than in front of computers. 

Tech firm, Mark43, based in New York City, already works with forces in other American cities, such as Washington DC, Boston, Seattle, San Antonio and Atlanta as well as the Australian police force in New South Wales. 

It says its new data system will help to reduce duplication, red tape and the time officers spend doing deskwork and being on computers, meaning they can spend more time tackling crime, responding to the public and keeping people in Cumbria safe.  

The company's co-founder Matt Polega: "At the end of the day technology is helping these officers get back in the field, get back to the business of community safety and the business of supporting the community, which is why everyone joins this profession in the first place."

Cumbria Police believes it will transform its work. 

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer: "It's making what our officers and staff do more efficient. Because they're more efficient and effective they're out there in the community, very visible, getting all that information from the community and it allows us to increase our visibility and that's probably what our communities tell us all the time, what they want to see, officers and staff out in the community."  

The money for the new data system will come from the office of Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall. 

He said: "We're looking at just under £1m a year for this so it's a big investment and it's got to work and obviously it's my job to make sure that it does deliver and we do satisfy that need to get cops on the ground." 

Cumbria will become the first part of the UK to adopt a small part of the USA's ways of working. The test of this new partnership will be just how much people see officers back on the beat in the next few years.