A mission to create a safer community
The rapid development of new technologies is making the digitisation of processes widespread across different industries. Digitisation speeds up time to market, allowing organisations to target the right audiences better and offer exceptional user experience. The true value of digitisation, however, can only be gauged when it helps make people’s lives easier.
Widely regarded as leaders in adopting innovative methods such as field DNA sampling and digital community engagement using social media, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) sought to digitise the in-person bail reporting process. The success of this project could help QPS in achieving their vision of a safer community.
Intricate manual bailing procedures
QPS required a process that made bail grant and bailee reporting easier, quicker, safer, and more efficient and traceable for the people of Queensland. They also wanted this process to offer greater flexibility and convenience for officers handling bail seekers, bailees, and their respective cases.
They had been using a complex system of paper-based forms for bail and related procedures. After submitting their bail grant application, the applicant, who could be an offender, may have to go to a police station for an update or for a general query. And as bailees could report themselves to any station in the state, tracing them was a tedious and time-consuming process. Loss of productivity and extended processing times were not helping the officers as they could potentially use their valuable time for thwarting offenders, saving lives, and engaging with the community.
Deploying a digital bail reporting solution
Telstra Purple, Australia's largest technology services business, worked closely with the QPS Mobile Capability Centre to identify and implement a solution that could help create a safer community and improve public-police engagement.
After multiple workshops and interviews, the teams analysed and determined the physical processes that could be simplified and chose bail grant application process to start with.
Using human-centred design techniques, the QPS MCC team and Telstra Purple developed a platform via the agile software development framework, which was then installed on iPads provided to QPS officers and desktops in Stations.
With this new digitised process, a person looking for a bail grant application status or a related query goes to a station and gets registered at the kiosk with their biometric and personal details before submitting a request. The court reviews the application for further processing and informs the requestor about the outcome. Officers can capture or trace breaches, bailees reporting at a different station, changes in bail conditions, and verify the identity of a bailee or an offender from the convenience of their iPads with the digital bail reporting solution.
Following the successful initial roll-out, which took four months to complete, every police station in Queensland is now cost-effectively equipped with this solution using their existing IT infrastructure.
Digitisation that makes lives easier
The digital bail reporting solution streamlines the procedure, with every station in the state following the same digital process with reduced chance of duplicity or manual error. It also ensured the privacy and safety of people at the station reporting an offence as the bailee-police communication happens away from them. This digital interaction offered the following benefits, which helped the QPS to build trust and provide an exceptional experience for its community.
- Safe environment. A member of the public can report an incident by visiting a station quickly with the minimal waiting time. Officers register the details of the incident and can act on it immediately.
- Reduced processing time. With unique identities and case numbers, the officers can retrieve the information they need instantly and securely. Any breaches, changes in bail conditions, bail reporting at a different station, and bailee verification are processed and updated quickly through the digital system.
- Greater flexibility. Searching for the historical records of offenders, their movements between areas of jurisdictions, if any, and other changes could be accessed conveniently right at the officers’ fingertips.
With the implementation of this solution, the QPS became the first agency in the country to digitise the bail reporting process—thus promising a flexible, transparent and safer environment for the people of Queensland. As laws and procedures regarding young offenders are different, the QPS and Telstra Purple are following up this successful solution with a similar one for youth bail reporting, which is planned for deployment towards the end of 2020.