April 2, 2019
The Nine Software Company (Nine) has worked with officers from Durham Constabulary to solve a major issue in the registration of foreign nationals. The South Shields software house has developed the Foreign Nationals software product, which is now a key digital solution implemented within 21 of the 43 UK Police Forces and processes in excess of 100,000 annual registrants.
Visa entry requirements for some of the world’s population visiting the UK from overseas on a study or work visa will stipulate that they need to register with a local Police Force. This has previously been a lengthy, paper-based process and an unpleasant and time-consuming exercise for both the person(s) registering and the administrator.
Nine has revolutionised the registration process for both the Police users and the registrant with their unique, secure software solution. The majority of the administration now takes place online, including the booking of appointments; overall creating a much more user-friendly process for all involved.
A huge benefit to this bespoke system is the amount of Police staff time and resource that can now be directed elsewhere.
Andy Walton, director at Nine, comments: “We took the time, working with colleagues from Special Branch, to understand the pain points in the paper-based process. Sure, digitising anything of this nature is going to make efficiencies. However it wasn’t just about that for us.
“We wanted to create a solution that would create an end to end seamless process for all users – both Police staff and the registrants. We identified issues, such as movement of people from one region to another, and from the start incorporated options for data to be safely and securely transferred between forces.
“Being on the front foot like this enabled us to be prepared for rolling out the service to other areas. Durham Constabulary were a huge advocate of what we developed together, which was a big plus.”
The smart, user-friendly platform is in use across some of the largest Police Force areas in the country, including all the Yorkshire Forces, both West and East Midlands Counter Terror Units and Thames Valley and Hampshire Police. The product has already won acclaim for Nine as winners of the Digital Technology Award in the Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside heat of the North East Business Awards 2019.
Location and talent are key elements to success, both for Nine as a business and for its clients. In 2018, the company relocated to its own office in South Shields, having previously shared a base in Hebburn.
Speaking about the move, Andy says: “Finding the right premises for the team was important, we needed to create the right working environment while also being in an accessible location. South Shields offered us that – the Tyne Tunnel is a couple of minutes’ drive and we have a Metro station nearby too.”
Nine is committed to addressing gender imbalance in the workplace, which is often an issue within tech-focused companies. It signed the Tech Talent Charter back in June 2018 and is proud that 25 per cent of the workforce are female – in comparison to 15 per cent of females across the North East in the digital and tech sector. The team also take part in volunteer mentor schemes to nurture and develop new talent to keep skills here in the region.
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