Police forces around the country have already been reaping the benefits of new technology to catch criminals and safeguard the most vulnerable.

Examples include:

  • Facial recognition technology, which South Wales Police has found cuts down the amount of time taken to identify a suspect from weeks to just minutes, with 200 suspects identified per month.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven automation of administrative tasks, which saved a Detective from Bedfordshire Police 15 hours of work on a single 800 page document.
  • Digital fingerprint matching which enables police to identify suspects from fingerprint traces in real-time, speeding up the process by three days, on average, per case.
  • Expanding the use of drones including the launch of EagleX, a project promoting collaboration between police, industry and the regulator to being using Drones as First Responders (DFR).

Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan has been appointed Chair of the newly formed National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) Science and Innovation Committee.

Mr Vaughan will focus establishing the priorities for innovation and investment for UK policing, working closely with Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Paul Taylor, connecting the new committee with regional and local delivery to co-ordinate the adoption of innovative practices across the sector.

His appointment comes after NPCC Chair Chief Constable Gavin Stephens outlined his commitment to harness technology to transform policing in a speech given last week.

Mr Vaughan, Vice Chair of the NPCC and national Biometrics Lead, has set out his intention to evolve at pace to stay ahead of emerging threats posed by criminals exploiting new technology, but reaffirmed that policing must do so responsibly and transparently.

Echoing his pledge, Chief Constables around the country have signed the AI Covenant, which sets out the principles of how AI will be used in policing to ensure that its use is both proportionate and accountable.

Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said:

“Science and technology are central to delivering a world-class police service and one our public rightly expects and deserves.

“The benefits of technology are already apparent in policing, and will ultimately lead to better investigations, more front-line policing and a preventative approach to criminality.

“That is why it is so crucial that we evolve at pace and make best use of all that new technology has to offer. To do this, we must work closely with the Government and industry experts to ensure policing has the long-term funding and resources it needs to advance.

“I look forward to building on this crucial work and shaping policing’s future in my new role as Chair of the Science and Innovation Committee.”

Chief Scientific Adviser Paul Taylor, said:

“The development of new science and technology presents exciting opportunities to drive efficiency and effectiveness in police forces around the country, protecting police’s finite resources.

“From targeting criminals who repeatedly shoplift and inflict misery on local communities, through to catching predators who prey on vulnerable children online, the implementation of new technology will revolutionise the capabilities of policing on a scale never seen before.

“The work of Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan and the Science and Innovation Committee will provide crucial oversight and co-ordination to drive change and support forces in shaping a service fit for today and the future.”

Source and photo credit: NPCC

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