Investing in supporting police procurement

How Leica Geosystems has built up a deep understanding of collision and crime-scene investigation work

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Between 2010 and 2019, UK police budgets were cut by 19% – but crime figures didn’t drop accordingly. So although new technology continually emerges to help police forces collect, preserve and present evidence, they’re continually being asked to do more with less. That’s why we’ve created a package of support designed to help police forces access data capture equipment, and to get up to speed with it as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

“We all depend on the police to be able to do the best possible job – whether that’s solving crimes or dealing with road traffic collisions,” said Mike Skicko, our UK public safety lead for forensics and collision investigation. “These are tough jobs, so we want to make it as easy as possible to achieve the right outcomes by delivering accurate 3D reality-capture information which can be relied upon in court.”

Today, Leica Geosystems works closely with multiple agencies involved in crime-scene and collision investigations, including police forces across the UK, the NPCC, the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators, the Chartered Institute of Forensic Sciences, the Forensic Collision Investigation Network, and various third-party technology providers. The support we offer includes:

“Leica Geosystems give us an excellent service – and their support has genuinely been exemplary. They respond quickly to any problems and have been able to provide next-day loan equipment when ours has been away or out of action.”
– Inspector Richard Auty, Metropolitan Police Road & Transport Policing Command

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Besides working closely with policing organisations, our team includes former police officers and consultants from around the world. Our ongoing dialogue with police forces ensures we understand their evolving needs.

“The police need to complete very specific tasks quickly but thoroughly, so we focus on speed and simplicity,” said César Almeida, one of our reality-capture specialists. “The RTC360 scanner has a single button, for example, and we strip anything out of the workflow and training which the police force doesn’t need. And our experience means we can suggest applications that they may not have considered, helping them get the best possible value from our technology.”

Pre-sales support

When a force gets in touch, we take the time to really understand their needs and challenges and we’ll send a team of three people with demo equipment for a full day, so we can answer all their questions. The team includes Mike Skicko, César Almeida, and geomatics market segment manager Mark Francis.

Knowledge-sharing and networking

Our free annual two-day policing conference is a chance to get hands-on with the latest Leica equipment, listen to guest speakers, and hear the innovative ways in which police forces use our equipment to crack cases and respond to incidents. In 2020, the event attracted 104 people from 30 policing organisations, providing a forum for sharing knowledge, ideas and best practice.

“We’ve stayed with Leica Geosystems because they give us cracking customer support.”
– Iain Took, West Midlands Police

Support with ISO/IEC 17020 & 17025 validation

Leica Geosystems is working closely with the FCIN and the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) to support police forces in meeting the challenge of achieving this accreditation. Dr Anya Hunt, CEO of the CSFS, commented that “Leica Geosystems very much appears to be ahead of the curve at the moment in their understanding of the need for validation and verification.”

“Leica Geosystems is one of the main suppliers of scanning technology to policing… They have lots of technology and people who really understand the process. They can guide the police through some of the difficult areas where we perhaps don’t have the expertise. They’ve been very generous and hugely supportive with the method validation work that we're undertaking.”
– Frances Senior, NPCC capability manager for forensic collision investigation

Training and technical support

We pride ourselves on building a rapport with policing customers, and do our best to ensure officers can deal with the same person when they call. “When you’re already stressed out about a problem, there’s nothing worse than having to tell your story three times to three different people. Policing is tough enough; we’re here to make things a little easier,” says Nicolette Beggache, technical specialist and trainer at Leica Geosystems.

“By getting to know each force’s unique workflow, we can recommend the simplest, fastest way to get things done. We create a process that’s fit for purpose for each force, then follow it up with training that exactly matches it. This means officers can go from scene to screen in the shortest time possible.”

Sponsoring the ITAI collision event

Each year, Leica Geosystems sponsors the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators’ ITAI Crash Test and Research Day. In 2019, over 420 delegates attended – including collision and crime-scene investigators, fire and ambulance services, private investigators, insurers and salvage companies. This means we’re helping them to better understand what happens in a crash, which in turn influences the understanding of the evidence collected afterwards.

Going the extra mile

Because we’re committed to supporting UK policing, we’re willing to put in that bit extra. When Guernsey Police wanted to explore our RTC360 laser scanning solution, for example, there was no hesitation in flying down there to show it to them. If necessary, we’ll do training at force HQ instead of our own headquarters, as we did for Nottinghamshire Police. And in certain circumstances, we can lend equipment, too.

Interested in exploring working with Leica Geosystems? Please contact Mike Skicko in the first instance.

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