Dutch Public Prosecution Service Deploys Mobile Applications to Improve Productivity

The Netherlands’ boasts a comparatively low crime rate, thanks in large part to the law enforcement and judicial agencies working around the clock to protect citizens.

Across 20 offices in the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (DPPS) works with courts to administer justice by investigating criminal offenses, determining whether to bring a case to court, prosecuting offenders, and supervising criminal sentences. Many of its nearly 800 public prosecutors spend much of their day in the field – attending crime scenes, meeting colleagues and police officers, and presenting cases at court, or working late shifts to answer calls from local police.

In its existing system, DPPS prosecutors used portable computers with a virtualization solution running only legacy Windows operating systems. Security concerns prohibited storing data on mobile devices, meaning that completing any work required access to an often-slow Internet connection. To help increase productivity both offline and out of the office, DPPS needed a better mobility experience that provided an engaging and intuitive experience while also meeting state-mandated data security and confidentiality requirements. After testing the Windows 8 Enterprise operating system on a state-of-the-art tablet, the department began to realize significant improvements via faster and more reliable access to information, more efficient knowledge management, and increased cost savings in hardware acquisition and maintenance.

With such easy access to information via their mobile devices, public prosecutors can now quickly access files anytime, anywhere. Files that used to take several minutes or hours to pull from DPPS servers can now be accessed in about 15 seconds via the Windows 8 tablet, saving valuable time for law enforcement officers. In court, prosecutors can quickly access case notes and precedents instead of thumbing through binders of printed material. The Case File Viewer allows easy multitasking by scrolling through the day’s cases one side of the screen and opening files pertaining to each one on the other. Netherlands-based Microsoft partner Sparked created three touch-enabled Windows 8 applications for the tablet that connect to data stored on the DPPS SharePoint-based intranet and an Oracle database.

Now prosecutors can access local and remote data and work productively regardless of connectivity and location, with Windows 8 touch-enabled tablets that offer the intuitive, interactive computing experience preferred by the public prosecutors for the perfect combination of high-level security and manageability with a great user experience.

“With Windows 8 running on Windows 8-certified hardware, we can securely start up the operating system with the Trusted Boot feature and protect our data using BitLocker drive encryption technology,” says Dr. Edwin Mac Gillavry, Deputy Director, Bureau of Criminal Law Studies at the Dutch Public Prosecution Service.

With each new innovation, we move closer to the virtual judicial environment that allows improved field productivity in a mobile world. Instead of front office and back office siloes, agencies can access a common operational picture and communicate in real time, across organizations, for improved operations no matter where the agent. And as mobile devices become even more integrated into our personal and professional lives, we look forward to seeing how tablets, phones and apps continue to evolve for better public safety and justice around the world.

To ask questions, share ideas, or receive more information, please contact us at safetyanddefense@microsoft.com or @MicrosoftPSNS.

About the Author

Dr. Andrew Hawkins | Managing Director, Public Safety and Justice, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation

Dr. Andrew Hawkins, Director, Public Safety & Justice Solutions, Worldwide Public Sector, has more than two and a half decades’ public sector expertise. He holds a PhD in Management Science from Lancaster University Management School. Read More