Two of the most senior figures in UK policing met today to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the service: cybercrime, child sexual exploitation and firearms. Top of the agenda at the meeting between Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and National Crime Agency boss Lynne Owens was working together more closely.

This is a recognition that even the two best-equipped, best-resourced police organisations in the country cannot go it alone. Collaboration and cooperation is crucial in the face of emerging threats, new technology and rising expectations from the public and policymakers.

The police will say they have always worked together, whether through ‘mutual aid’ to respond to major incidents or joint programmes run across a few forces. But collaboration is being taken to a deeper level, in recognition that no police organisation can afford to maintain all the capabilities and resources it needs to meet every challenge, which today range from a mass-casualty shooting attack to prevention of child abuse at home.

This recognition underpins a billion-pound transformation programme, launched by the police and Government, to fundamentally re-engineer the way the police service works. The programme recognises that the UK’s 45 territorial forces are here to stay, in name at least. But behind the cap badge, collaboration will intensify to save money, improve information sharing and ensure the police have the large-scale, highly technical capabilities they need.

In the autumn forces will be able to bid for this money. To build a credible case, however, forces will need commercial partners to provide strategic capabilities in change and programme management, digital communications and data analysis, and tactical capabilities to respond to specific challenges.

This funding represents a significant opportunity for commercial organisations with appropriate skills. But navigating the police market is challenging: it is territorially fragmented, has complex governance and a raft of existing alliances and partnerships which must be understood in order to build new relationships successfully.

Crest Advisory is delighted to be hosting a breakfast discussion on this transformation programme, its opportunities and challenges, and how companies might engage with it. The speakers will be drawing on their previous experience as Policing Minister, Police and Crime Commissioner, and Chief Constable and HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

The briefing will take place in central London in early July. To attend please email

Gavin Lockhart-Mirams

Gavin Lockhart-Mirams


Gavin Lockhart-Mirams is Crest Advisory’s Chair and has led the team since setting up the company at the end of 2011.

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