The National Office of Statistics reported 6.1 million incidents of crime in 2016. Home Office figures show that between September 2010 and September 2016, the number of police officers in English and Welsh forces fell by 13 per cent. The need for greater operational efficiency is paramount to public safety. That is where we come in.
Geoff Smith Associates (GSA), is a family owned business established in 1997, which produces software solutions for police forces and the public sector. The company is based in Bardon, Leicestershire and employs over 80 staff including a large team of developers and ex-police force staff. Geoff Smith, MD, tells our story:
I was a police officer in Leicestershire for 30 years; most of that time was spent dealing with crime. Towards the end of my career in 1991, I was asked to look at specifying a networked computerised crime and intelligence system, to take us into the 21st century. I am not really technical but knew what we needed to combat the increasing crime rate. At this time almost everything was either paper based or standalone ‘green screen’ systems.
What we developed was ground-breaking; it was one of the first of its kind to be networked allowing officers to view their workload from any workstation. It also allowed them to view statements and photographs online. Although
the application was developed from scratch we had to buy an off-the-shelf document management solution which was really too complicated for the officers to use.
I left the police force I was retained as a consultant on the project and had a ‘eureka moment’ of how a document management solution should work that was easy to use and ‘policeman-proof.’
No one agreed, so I met with The Deputy Chief Constable; and he said ‘go and develop it and if it is any good he would buy it’. He was true to his word.
I joined forces with Dave Blackburn, our Technical Director who was lead developer on the original project. Together we came up with our Cyclops document management system which later included our configurable workflow and case
After 20 years of continuous growth, Geoff Smith Associates Ltd is now producing software solutions for almost every police force in the UK, and users in 381 councils.Other customers include the NCA, HMRC, NHS and the Foreign
Commonwealth Office. We supply systems internationally in Jamaica and Gibraltar. Our numerous applications are used at all levels, departmental, force, regional and nationally.
At heart, we are a family business. Three of the directors are part of the family; my wife Ann is Finance Director and my sons Paul and Steve are Operations Director and IT directors respectively. Dave Blackburn is now our Technical Director.