The National Policing Improvement Agency's (NPIA) new "Amazon-style" online procurement hub, which enables police forces to buy specified goods and services online, has gone live today (Friday).
Lincolnshire Police will be the first force to use the new National Police Procurement Hub (NPPH) to select and pay for a range of approved goods and services from 500 suppliers.
The NPIA reckons the hub will save the police service £30 million over six years. It will enable Lincolnshire and others to buy items such as IT, body armour, vehicles and a variety of other goods and services.
It harnesses the buying power of the whole police service in order to lower costs, whilst realising greater efficiency in billing and processing transactions, said the NPIA.
The hub is being delivered by the NPIA in partnership with ProcServe, a company which provides electronic procurement products. All police forces are expected to be using the hub by June 2012.
Sue Moffatt, head of commercial and procurement at the NPIA, said: "The police service is committed to deliver significant savings from better procurement."
In other NPIA news, the agency has just rolled out its emergency service Olympic Awareness e-learning package to local authorities, the British Red Cross, St Johns Ambulance Service and other volunteering organisations.
The online training will help the police and emergency services prepare for the Games. The training provides an introductory overview of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and describes how the police and its partners will operate and work together on shared safety and security issues.
Over 16,000 police officers and staff have already completed the training.
The NPIA is being disbanded by the government as it is creating a new police-owned national IT company to commission and deliver services, in an attempt to make greater IT savings.