Case Studies

Helping police forces to collaborate so they can join up information, reduce costs and better protect the public

Police forces are faced with unprecedented levels of technology change as well as the need to significantly reduce costs. Four forces wanted to improve how they work together to respond to these challenges. Xnet helped Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners agree a blueprint for regional collaboration and a road map for how they get there.

This involved working across a range of operational and support functions to identify collaboration opportunities and the steps required to implement them. For example, exploring the potential to implement the same contact management and intelligence systems that would provide the foundation for moving towards regional services.

Our work resulted in an agreement to jointly deliver key transformation programmes across the region, identifying £MMs of potential savings and joining up information systems that will better protect the public.

Launching a national threat analysis centre for digital investigations

Modern digital investigations require access to greater volumes of more diverse information. With shrinking budgets and difficulties in recruiting and retaining digital expertise, it is vital that Law Enforcement can make informed decisions about where to invest funding and resources to optimise value of digital data in meeting operational outcomes.

Xnet have been a key partner in standing up a new threat analysis centre for digital investigations that supports all of the Law Enforcement community. Collaboration is key to the success of this new capability and Xnet have been leading a joint working pilot to understand how people from different teams and background can most effectively work together. We have also been the driving force behind piloting the threat assessment process and pulling together experts from the operational community and technical community to undertake a continuous threat assessment process.

Our work is helping drive this ground breaking and innovative approach to ensuring that new capability is driven by operational need, potentially saving many £MMs of investment and ensuring that Law Enforcement can get true benefit from digital data collection and exploitation.

Designing new operating models to get digital data into the hands of investigators more quickly

Maintaining the ability to extract value from digital data in an era of exponentially growing data volumes, ubiquitous encryption, anonymisation, greater public scrutiny and shrinking budgets is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK investigative community. Meeting these challenges requires new delivery models, governance arrangements and a new relationship between capability providers and the Law Enforcement and Intelligence communities.

Xnet have been supporting Law Enforcement Agencies and Government departments implement a new operating model that fosters much greater collaboration between the users of data and the suppliers of data. We have been working closely with the implementation teams in understanding how to turn historically transactional relationships into a collaboration and to understand how to work together effectively in an environment characterised by uncertainty.

Successful implementation of the operating model will transform the relationship between the traditional capability providers and the investigators, putting digital data in the hands of the investigators more quickly, more efficiently and at lower cost increasing its impact on operational outcomes.

Initiating a transformation in a Police Force to save £10M so it can respond to the changing nature of demand

Our client was a police force in one of the safest counties in the UK but is facing pressure from the changing nature of demand. There has been a transfer of demand from local partners, as the police spend increasing amounts of time dealing with incidents such as mental health. At the same time, there has been an increase in crimes with an online/ digital element that require new capabilities to effectively investigate them. This change in demand needs to be balanced with a public expectation of a visible policing presence. Additionally, the force had identified significant opportunities to improve efficiency which could then be reinvested in new priorities.

Xnet were asked to lead a discovery activity for the force to scope a transformation programme to respond to the changing environment and save £10M by 21/22. We worked with the executive team and the OPCC to identify what they would need to transform, where they would need external support from a transformation partner, the options for procuring a partner and the internal capabilities they would need to build to deliver the transformation.

This discovery work was completed within four weeks. It resulted in the Chief Constable and PCC having a clear way forward for their transformation programme, enabling them to go to market for a transformation partner with confidence whilst also progressing actions to build their internal capability. Importantly, the work achieved consensus on the transformation vision and priorities meaning that the design phase can progress at speed with reduced risk.

Helping Governments Build National Cyber Security Capacity

Cyber security is an increasingly critical facet of a nation’s overall security and an essential enabler for prosperity in a global digital economy. Many countries are seeking assistance to develop cyber security risk management capability, an effective national strategy and to build capacity through tailored investment programmes.

Xnet are working closely with UK government foreign partnership initiatives and providing expert advice and guidance in the areas of national cyber security strategy, major international sporting events and sector specific risk and maturity assessment. Xnet have developed expertise and experience in delivering the following:

  • National cyber security risk assessment
  • Cyber security capability and capacity maturity assessment
  • Prioritisation of risk mitigations
  • Developing programme and project delivery approaches and recommendations

This work involves building strong in-country stakeholder relationships at all levels, developing and agreeing collaborative approaches that are optimised for particular national needs/culture and delivering effective strategic advice and guidance.

Delivering a data exploitation platform to support intelligence collection

Technology, societal and target behaviour changes had presented a national law enforcement team with difficulties in extracting full operational value from the available communications data.

Xnet designed and managed the delivery of a data exploitation platform using open source technologies to provide new methods to get value from available data. The platform provides the unit with flexible data ingest options, bespoke processing, entity extraction, and visualisations to suit their operational objectives.

Officers use the platform as their core toolkit to improve the intelligence picture by extracting unique intelligence on criminal communications, not available through other techniques. This intelligence has informed the tactics and deployments across the agency and guides national level capability investments based on the lessons in delivering the platform – it is a showcase of what is possible in the covert communications intelligence context.

Designing a new operating model for a national multi-agency law enforcement team exploiting communications data

The move towards an R&D driven operational team, as opposed to relying on traditional techniques , coupled with a changing governance and operational landscape, meant the client had to re-focus its service offerings, re-orientate itself, and re-affirm the value of its foundations to a new set of senior stakeholders internally, across LE, and within its own agency.

Xnet worked to articulate a vision espousing the unique aspects of the unit, and how it has the foundations that can be built upon to deliver a high impact niche set of services that are not matched anywhere else in law enforcement. We moved discussions away from service catalogues, technology requirements, and processes, and shaped a vision around how the operational and R&D foundations of the unit allow it to consider ‘change’ as its business as usual, and that it is the place where high value, delicate, and/or sensitive techniques could be applied safely for immediate operational benefits.

This vision was endorsed at senior levels and we are leading the next steps in setting out an iterative design roadmap, that seeks to integrate with wider national change activity and ultimately lead to the establishment of a capability that delivers national impact from covert intelligence.