Police chief’s £2.2m Axon digital investment

July 20, 2022


Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has invested £2.2m in a five-year contract for a new digital evidence management system (DEMS) from Axon to boost the Derbyshire Constabulary’s ability to collect, store and share evidence.

The deal will be delivered by Axon over a five-year period and starts in September. The Commissioner claimed her decision to award the contract followed a robust procurement process.

The new system will save time during investigations, speed up submission of files and ultimately improve the service provided to victims.

Foster said: “I fully support this type of investment. Technology is critical to the Constabulary’s ability to solve investigations and bring criminals to justice, making it imperative that officers have the latest, most efficient systems available. The DEMS system will speed up investigations, reduce the amount of officer time involved, enable easier and shared access to files which ultimately will provide victims with a better service.”

Like all police forces, Derbyshire Constabulary has experienced a huge growth in the amount of digital evidence it is handling during investigations. There are well over 20 sources of digital evidence ranging from 999 call recordings, body worn video, CCTV footage, crime scene photos, downloads from seized electronic devices to digital interview recordings.

The volume of digital data to be accessed during an investigation and the complexity of navigating around the multiple locations where it is stored, is an obstacle for investigators and raises the risk of digital evidence failing to be captured or being missed completely.

Unlike physical evidence, which can be seized, exhibited, stored in a property store and then taken to court to be presented, if necessary, digital evidence is more difficult to deal with.

A DEMS is an electronic system designed to collect, store, and share digital evidence in an efficient and effective way. It will link to Niche, so that when digital evidence is identified, seized and uploaded into the DEMS it can be accessed and viewed from the crime occurrence.

derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk/commissioner/meet-the-new-commissioner/(opens in a new tab)

The system will enable the sharing of digital evidence with CPS on a 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It also gives greater access to charging and remand decisions outside normal working hours, especially when time is critical.

The force will retain control of the digital evidence and share via a link, which avoids making multiple copies.

Most police forces are now virtually paperless in the storage of material used in day to day activity.

It will also be easier to obtain CCTV from privately-owned systems, without the risk of using a USB or portable media device.



Angelique Foster, who is a Conservative, was a member of Derbyshire County Council for the Dronfield West and Walton ward prior to her election as PCC, elected at the 2017 Derbyshire County Council election. She was elected to the police and crime commissioner post in May 2021, defeating Labour incumbent Hardyal Dhindsa. Foster is also a Dronfield Town Councillor.

Originally from France, Foster has lived in Derbyshire for 25 years and is married with a grown-up family. 

With a Masters Degree in Law from Sheffield University, Mrs Foster has served as Leader of Dronfield Town Council and as Cabinet member for Corporate Services at Derbyshire County Council. Her portfolio includes: Finance, Legal, Property, HR and IT, and responsibility for managing a budget of £46million.

Mrs Foster recently resigned from her role to take on her new responsibilities as Derbyshire’s PCC and is determined to manage the budget effectively to maximise resources for fighting crime.

According to her own profile: “She has pledged to put the law-abiding citizen at the centre of all policing policies and priorities in Derbyshire to keep local people and their families safe.

“Central to her ambitions is reducing the fear of crime across Derbyshire’s communities by increasing police numbers and patrols, providing a strong police presence in towns and villages and supporting Police Officers in the use of powers such as Stop and Search to protect communities from crime.

“She also aims to work with the Government to deliver a tougher approach to policing, strengthen partnership work locally to improve safety, tackle antisocial behaviour, drive down burglaries, robberies and theft, improve road safety, fight rural crime and address domestic violence and drug-related crime.”

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