When the West Midlands Police (WMP) embarked on its five-year transformation programme, WMP2020, it did so with the ambition to help the force meet current and future policing needs, manage citizens’ expectations and reduce costs across its operations. As part of the programme, WMP launched a new website that enabled members of the public to report and track incidents online for the first time.
But while it received positive feedback from citizens who used the service, WMP wanted to maximise the potential of online reporting, as 12 months after its launch, only 2.5 per cent of incidents were being reported via the portal.
The solution was found in partnering with Accenture and Cognician to introduce a ‘Digital 30 Day Challenge’ to encourage officers and staff to form new behaviours and routines while learning.
Over 1,000 neighbourhood police officers and contact centre staff were invited to complete a series of daily 10-minute challenges on their desktops or mobile devices which would ‘nudge’ desirable behaviour. And to increase motivation for learning, WMP introduced gamification to the programme in the form of digital badges, leaderboards and prizes to increase engagement and embed learning.
The challenges were based around the WMP2020 objectives of increasing public and partner engagement through digital channels and developing digital confidence within the force.
Local WMP leadership teams responded positively to daily and weekly dashboards, generating a healthy sense of competition between teams across the force.
The result has been a complete digital transformation of WMP. The force has shifted non-emergency policing demand onto digital channels through raising awareness of its website. And feedback from WMP staff confirmed both the level of digital competence and confidence has increased as a result of the daily challenges.