Evaluating mobile data systems in policing


This national project aims to identify the key areas of business benefit which can be realized from effective and planned implementations of mobile technologies. There are two key aims. The first one is to overview existing models for the evaluation of information systems. This includes a review of academic literature on evaluation as well as the identification and measurement of business benefits relevant to the use of mobile technologies in policing. The second aim is to develop an appropriate evaluation model based on the case studies within each of the participating police forces. This model will be refined with the aim of ensuring that it is relevant to the wider UK policing context, and is suitable as both an evaluation tool as well as a predictive tool. The underlying theoretical perspective we use for developing a model is activity theory. Using activity theory we develop a more holistic view of mobile technologies within organisations, with specific reference to a cultural-historical perspective. We also draw on the concept of contradictions within activity theory to help examine potential areas of change and innovation with regard to the introduction of new technologies in organisations. 

The project has come out of a realization by AIMTech and key commercial and public safety partners that there is a relatively unsophisticated understanding of the actual business benefits which can be gained from the use of mobile technologies to provide information to officers whilst mobile. Without such an understanding there is a risk that projects will fail to target actual areas of gain, or will fail to achieve real business gain whilst delivering technical success. 

This project is a collaboration of police forces, including West Yorkshire Police, Lancashire Police, The Metropolitan Police.