Public Sector Future Podcast: Episode 3 | Digital Policing

Episode 3 guest speaker, Darren Henstock

Digital Policing

with Darren Henstock

Western Australia’s Assistant Divisional Officer Darren Henstock is the Innovation and Future Lead for Western Australia Police Force’s Digital Policing Programme.
Darren combines years of policing experience with academic research. He is playing a leading role in implementing new technologies and introducing the cultural changes needed to bring the organization together on their journey.

Episode 3: Digital Policing

Public Sector Future

Episode summary

In this episode we explore the technology and cultural changes that have been put in place by Western Australia’s Police Force. Join us as we sit down with Western Australia’s Assistant Divisional Officer, Darren Henstock, to discuss the journey to implement body worn cameras, GPS tracking of Officers, and the management of COVID-19 through a digital approach.

Listen to this episode on any of these podcast platforms:

In this episode we explore the technology and cultural changes that have been put in place by Western Australia’s Police Force.   

We are joined by Western Australia’s Assistant Divisional Officer, Darren Henstock, the Innovation and Future Lead for Western Australia Police Force’s Digital Policing Programme.  

Darren combines several decades of policing experience with academic research and is playing a leading role in implementing new technologies, and introducing the cultural changes needed to bring the organization together on their journey.


The new software was released to frontline members to test for two months. A continuous feedback loop was deployed allowing officers to witness the changes, allowing for agile implementation.

Here are four key takeaways:

Digital transformation and the support needed to roll out rapid change

The implementation of new technology and devices to provide solutions to current issues requires more than one advocate.

Henstock discussed the pathway to roll out body-worn video on all officers that was championed by a new CIO and host of new supporting team members.

“I think that the planets aligned. A new assistant commissioner, a new commissioner, who was really wholeheartedly supporting this, and we managed to get through supporting body-worn video as an agency,” Henstock says.

Leading with transparency and continuous building of trust breaks down barriers

Henstock mentioned the concerns around GPS tracking software (for safety purposes) on the iPhones being issued to officers.

“We have to remember this was a personal device, at the same time, and we didn’t want that capability on all the time. We wanted to give the officer that ability to have control over what they were doing,” Henstock says.

The new software, a mobile app called Locate, was released to frontline members to test for two months. A continuous feedback loop was deployed allowing officers to witness the changes made based on their needs in the field, allowing for agile implementation and a product that works.

Technology boosts growth and data sharing capabilities

Supplying a smartphone to every officer allowed them to conduct everyday tasks in the field, resulting in agile services. This avoided wasted time spent driving back to the office to complete the same everyday tasks at a desk.

These capabilities allow for steps towards a system of viewing data at your fingertips in a remote location to determine the case-by-case situation for incarceration.

“Ten minutes of timesaving for an officer, per shift, per day, but you’ve now probably got 450 new officers out in the field because of the timesaving that you’ve now got for ten minutes of time,” Henstock says.

Best practices from around the world 

Sometimes it is the small modifications that can have a big impact on how to learn from and proceed through a similar journey. 

The onset of this pandemic has brought to the forefront the usage of products to communicate across large teams. 

COVID-19 has shown that data sharing capabilities allowed for rapid upskilling and sharing of information to have the key decision maker interpret the data and make informative decisions utilizing Microsoft Teams.

To find out more:

Learn more about how Microsoft support digital transformation in Government

About the Center of Expertise

Microsoft’s Public Sector Center of Expertise brings together thought leadership and research relating to digital transformation in the public sector. The Center of Expertise highlights the efforts and success stories of public servants around the globe, while fostering a community of decision makers with a variety of resources from podcasts and webinars to white papers and new research. Join us as we discover and share the learnings and achievements of public sector communities.

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