Nottinghamshire Police is a force made up of 4,000 officers and staff, supported by hundreds of Special Constables, cadets and volunteers, covering 56 neighbourhoods throughout Nottinghamshire.
Earlier this year, Nottinghamshire Police put out a tender for the redesign and redevelopment of their existing website, which was showing its age due to a structural inflexibility, dated look and feel, and an internal restructuring of the force, which could not be represented accurately on the existing website. They also sought to simplify and cut down on the amount of existing content to better communicate the essential facts to the public. We were successful in proposing a cost-effective solution based on an open source platform (Drupal) which is tailored to the needs of local government and public sector organisations.
One of the major challenges when developing the site was ensuring the right people have the ability to create and edit just the right information, for example the need for police officers to update news about their local ‘beat’. This was handled by setting up a number of tailored content types, and carefully controlling which users have permission to change which areas.
We worked closely with the force to set up information architecture, migrate content and provide training on creating new content for their 56 neighbourhood policing areas, which includes over 200 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), 700 documents and 300 news articles.
Security and resilience was a large concern for the force, as people rely on the website to give them information and to contact their local police in times of need. We have put a cloud-based hosting solution in place which automatically expands to provide more resources in times of extreme demand to the website. A security audit was also run on the website by a third-party before launching, to identify any risks that could mean the website could be compromised by an intruder.
The cloud-based solution used by Nottinghamshire Police is able to provide extra resources such as bandwidth in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours or days it would take conventional hosts.
In order to make access to the website as easy as possible, a responsive design has been put in place to allow quick access from mobile phones – allowing the public quick access to the information that they need when on the go.