Police Digital Academy: ACC Jonny Blackwell
Police Digital Academy: ACC Jonny Blackwell
Police Digital Academy
Police Digital Academy

More than 1,100 police officers and members of police staff benefitted from innovative digital investigation training during the opening fortnight of the Police Digital Academy’s training sessions.

The Police Digital Academy is a partnership between five north west police forces which focuses on providing officers and staff the best evidence-based digital investigation training.

Short, virtual sessions have been running since the 5 February as part of a five-week programme in which officers and staff learn from subject matter experts on key areas of digital investigation.

Feedback from attendees included positive commentary on how the sessions provided clear and impactful information within a short training session. In total, 1,157 officers and staff attended sessions during the opening two weeks.

Assistant Chief Constable Jonny Blackwell, Cumbria Constabulary, said:

“I am extremely proud of the work conducted by all involved in the creation of the Police Digital Academy and the detailed planning which has gone into the delivery of this initial training.

“I am also really pleased to have heard so much positive feedback from frontline officers and staff who have attended sessions so far.

“The academy provides great opportunities for officers and staff across Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside to gain skills which are required for policing in 2024 and beyond.

“Technology continues to change at pace, which means the threats and opportunities that changing technology provides are also developing quickly. No longer can digital investigation be viewed as a specialist area alone, we must mainstream digital investigation skills across our frontline.

“These remote sessions will continue to be held throughout February and early March. A virtual library of sessions will be available in due course for officers and staff including all academy content.

“One of the key principles of the academy is that training is agile and responsive, as opposed to traditional courses which can take years to roll out. We cannot afford to fall behind technology. Therefore, our training will move at pace to meet the challenges of modern policing.”

Training areas being developed by the Police Digital Academy are a result of evidence-based research undertaken by the academy’s Digital Research Hub into a range of themes, including domestic abuse investigations. The research also ensures the skills being delivered are what officers and staff require to do their job.

ACC Blackwell added: “We aim to empower officers and staff with the digital skills needed to engage effectively with communities, foster trust and enhance public confidence in policing by striving for a police service that reflects the digital diversity of the communities it serves.”