PNLD's online document management system provides a vital service to police officers and the wider criminal justice community
The Police National Legal Database (PNLD) manage the legal database which is used by all 43 police forces in England and Wales - a national knowledge management system of up to date legal information used by serving and student police officers, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts. It is also available on a commercial basis via subscription to other partners within the Criminal Justice Sector (CJS), criminal lawyers and other investigators.
In 2004 PNLD were looking for an innovative technology company that would work with them to move their core services online and work creatively with them to develop new services. PDMS worked with PNLD to develop a new document and content management platform which now holds almost 70,000 documents and can cater for up to 200,000 users across the secure UK Criminal Justice Network (CJX).
The solution provided by PDMS includes multiple security levels for both data viewing and editing, sophisticated authoring and editing content management tools and productivity enhancing features such as individual workspaces to quickly view work in progress and publication status.
With an expanding cross sector customer base the usage of the database(s) has substantially increased. In 2013/2014 approximately 2.5 million visits were made to the legal database, which relates to a page on the site being viewed every 1.7 seconds.
Additionally, a mobile version of the legal database on hand held devices provides police officers and staff away from the station with immediate access to solutions to legal issues, thus inspiring confidence in what they are doing and ensuring more presence and visibility on the streets. In 2011 there was a 100% increase in pages viewed on electronic hand held devices issued by forces on the police national network, significantly improving accessibility to PNLD’s core product.
The use of the legal database by investigators and practitioners within the criminal justice sector is seen as advantageous and the Trading Standards Service signed up in 2009. For external customers, e.g. Crown Prosecution Service and the courts, the service has significantly contributed to joining up services within the criminal justice sector and ensuring the immediacy of communication of changes to legislation and procedures.
By delivering the tools which enable non-technical users to manage the legal database content via a browser, PNLD have been able to offer greater working flexibility and have improved direct productivity. A spin off consequence has been a built in business continuity plan and disaster recovery.