Digital transformation: smarter blue light services

A digital strategy is critical to delivering effective service on the frontline. Most frontline responders already have access to a mobile phone, but many do not use these devices to their full potential. Smartphones running on a bandwidth connection have the capacity to instantly record data, saving valuable time at each stage of the response process. Mobile devices should soon be able to record fingerprints and, further down the line, facilitate instant facial or iris recognition. These innovations have the potential to radically change the work of frontline responders, but a recent survey of people working for the police showed that while over 90 per cent said digital policing is a top priority, only 11 per cent thought current infrastructure is ready to support digital innovation. Smarter approaches to new technology are waiting to be fully exploited.

We were delighted to welcome Sara Thornton, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, to discuss how blue-light services can embrace new technology to create more efficient and more responsive emergency services. The event was held under the Chatham House Rule.

This event is part of a wider series on ‘The future of public safety’ held in partnership with Motorola Solutions.

Speaker biography

Sara Thornton, Chair, National Police Chiefs’ Council

Sara is the first Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council. She joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1986 and held a number of operational postings in West London and strategic roles within New Scotland Yard. She served with Thames Valley Police as Assistant Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable and Acting Chief Constable before holding the role of Chief Constable for eight years until March 2015. She has also been Chair of ACPO Intelligence Portfolio, ViceChair of ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters, Director of the Police National Assessment Centre and ACPO VicePresident. Sara is a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, the Advisory Board for the Oxford University Centre for Criminology and the International Advisory Board for the Cambridge Executive Police Programme. Sara was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2006 and made a Commander in the Order of the British Empire in 2011. She has also been recognised with a Career Achievement Award from the Police Training Authority Trustees and the Sir Robert Peel Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Evidence-Based Policing.


020 7799 6699

1 May 2018
15.30 - 17.00