The Valencia test case, led by Valencia Local Police, took place between 8th and 12th May 2017, completing the first phase of test cases. Taking place in the Fourth District Unit, in the neighbourhood areas of Botánico, Abastos 3, Luz, Abastos 1, Aviación, Castilla, and Fuensanta, the Valencia test case brought together eighty stakeholders, including 10 police officers and 70 citizens. Among citizen stakeholders, the main target stakeholder groups of
neighborhood associations, merchant associations and schools were represented.
The Valencia test case had multiple goals and objectives, including to;
- Experiment with a new communication channel between the citizens and the police
- Test the maximum number of the system functionalities with different stakeholder groups
- Verify if such a platform fits in with the Valencia Local Police community policing model and local social structure
- Check the degree of acceptance of new technologies at the internal police level
- Know the degree of involvement and commitment of the different stakeholder groups
- Test the technical capacity of the police computer services and their adaptability during the pilot
Strengthen the pre-existing relationship between the local police (through their community policemen) and citizens
The press release on the Valencia Test Case includes detailed information on the activities undertaken during this Test Case and is available here. In summary, the test case involved the activities highlighted in Figure 1.
The first day of the test case involved prior preparation whereby technical partners worked on the server, a meeting was held with the test case participants, a live test of the application on mobile devices was performed, and the INSPEC2T solution was demonstrated. The second day of the Valencia test case was the first day of the actual pilot execution, involving two main scenarios (gender violence, bullying) being performed with actors and actresses. Over the remainder of the test case, Valencia Local Police had the opportunity to test the INSPEC2T solution using further scenarios including robberies, noise complaints, and pickpocketing. The scenarios were performed in different areas and with the different target stakeholder groups. In addition to the controlled scenarios, Valencia Local Police gave the participating stakeholders the opportunity to test the application in a real way, by sending in real reports of street deficiencies, such as broken street furniture, malfunction of traffic lights, etc.
During the Valencia test case, feedback was gathered from Police representatives and from citizens. For Police Commanders and Community Police Officers, the INSPEC2T platform is perceived as an example of the possibility to continuously improve an established policing practice, as there is currently a gap in the application of new technologies in the policing field. The INSPEC2T solution was viewed as having the following potential applications;
- A new communication channel that will result in increased citizen satisfaction
- To create internal communities of community policemen facilitating discussion threads about police tasks, specific missions, etc
- Enabling the specific assignment of tasks in certain areas with a higher crime incidence
- Allowing the geo-positioning of the units and the assignment of the real-time closest units
- Facilitating two-way communication between the Secure Portal coordinator and the agent assigned to a particular service
Feedback from police representatives focused on the perceived advantages of using the INSPEC2T solution. This included the INSPEC2T solution providing agility in incident reporting and smooth communication between the claimant and the police force. Police representatives viewed the ability to send claims including multimedia attachments as beneficial. Overall, the secure portal platform was perceived as offering a level of functionality suitable for police representative’s information management requirements. The advantages that the INSPEC2T solution provides were also seen as enabling a closer relationship with the community.
As well as highlighting the perceived advantages, police representatives highlighted potential areas of concern. Potential concerns related to the possibility for high volumes of information, legal concerns surrounding the multimedia elements provided by citizens, the extra resources required to use the solution, the ownership and storage of the data received, irresponsible use of the solution by anonymous users, and the monitoring and management of created communities. Potential concerns raised during all test cases will be discussed by the consortium going forward and where possible recommendations will be made for addressing each concern.
With a view to improving the INSPEC2T solution ready for the Phase 2 test cases, a number of suggestions for improvement were made, including:
- Redesigning the solution so that it is a more complete internal communication channel for police tasks
- Enhancing and increasing the available features
- Enabling the prioritization of the selection of incidents for which an alert is activated based on its severity
- Restricting the options to fill in blank fields of text to increase ease of use, offer faster and more intuitive interaction, and to enable the filtering of information more effectively
- Providing a panic button that enables the sending of the position of the agent that is in danger
- The user registry should include a digital signature to avoid possible impersonations or misuse of the solution
- Having an advanced form of acceptance of conditions of use to exempt the police from responsibility
- Translation of the Secure Portal to Spanish
- Suggestions for how different types of information is displayed
- The creation of more personalizable menus and changing the ordering of some menu options
From the citizen perspective, the INSPEC2T solution was viewed positively as very intuitive and functional. Feedback from citizen users included how the communities concept was excellent, enabling the planning of events and the creation of discussions of interest. However, for citizens there were issues surrounding the operability of the INSPEC2T solution on mobile devices. Citizens commented that the interface could be made more attractive and easier to use. For example, on the main page language selection is at the bottom of the screen, however, many users were not aware that language could be changed as they did not see this option. In addition, both police and citizen users agreed that the menu selection should not be drop down, but that a general menu of soft (i.e., push) buttons would be more functional for users. In terms of the mobile application, both categories of stakeholders also commented on how the visibility of the application in daylight could be improved.
Stakeholder engagement and feedback was critical to the success of the Valencia Test Case. The consortium are currently working on addressing the stakeholder feedback from the Phase 1 test cases, ready for the Phase 2 test cases beginning in October 2017. Further information on the Phase 2 test cases in Groningen (The Netherlands) and Preston (The United Kingdom) can be found in the 4th INSPEC2T newsletter available here.
Do you want to see the INSPEC2T solution Live Demo? Take part in the Next Generation Community Policing (NGCP) Conference! Learn more here!.