West Midlands Police is the second-largest police force in the United Kingdom. The force covers an area of 348 square miles (900 km2) with 2.93 million inhabitants, which includes the cities of Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and also the Black Country.
With employee and executive buy-in secured, West Midlands Police began expanding automation into processes associated with operational policing in 2019 to hand officers back more time in the day and increase capacity in struggling areas.
For example, without automation, to upload witness statements, officers would have had to return to base, taking up to an hour each way, to manually input the information into the correct system. Now, an officer simply has to complete a digital statement in an app whilst in the field and a robot provided by UiPath will download the document locally, search in the system for the case, and attach the files as necessary.
Since June 2020, 23,000 statements have been processed, saving 3,000 hours of officer processing time, not to mention the countless hours and fuel saved from negating the need to travel back to base. What’s more, the process is now also less vulnerable to human error. Rather than running the risk of accidentally attaching the wrong part of the document to the system, the robot follows the same strict steps each time, making sure only the correct information is shared with the Crown Prosecution Service.