Digital tools will help police, say Brits

Three-quarters of the UK think giving police more digital technology will improve policing

Three-quarters of UK residents think giving police more digital technology will improve policing, and most are happy to see the use of predictive technology and wearables.

Technology is seen by many as a means of increasing transparency as well as improving frontline policing services.

According to research from Accenture, 75% of Brits think digital tools will improve police services. 

A total of 90% are comfortable with the use of predictive technologies to predict and prevent crime, while 87% would be happy with police using wearable technologies such as body-worn cameras.

When it comes to police using mobile devices, 94% believe there should be more.

The research revealed citizens expect the police to use technology more. It said websites, information portals and mobile apps are falling short of their expectations.

“This survey shows citizens believe digital tools – such as mobile devices and wearable cameras – together with predictive analytics-based technologies can have a positive impact on crime by helping identify where crime might occur and how best to deploy police,” said James Slessor, managing director of Accenture's global public safety business.

“It also shows while nearly all citizens want to actively help police prevent, detect and fight crime, a gap exists between what digital tools citizens expect police to use and what police actually use.”

MPS' Total Technology IT strategy

In February 2014, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) released a three to four-year plan on how to transform the use of technology in the organisation.

The Total Technology IT strategy calls for an agile, flexible and responsive set of technologies to support a modern police service.

Officers on the street will be equipped with technology including introducing tablet-style devices. The current technology used by the MPS is not well suited to online and mobile, with many of its supporting systems designed in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Mobile technology will reduce travelling time to and from police buildings and therefore increase time for policing.

MPS analytics trial

The MPS has already experimented with analytics software to predict which criminals are likely to re-offend.

A pilot run by the police service and IT service provider Accenture used historical data on gang crime across London and predictive analytics software to work out the likelihood of an individual committing a crime again.

The pilot ran data related to all known gangs in London through Accenture analytics. It combined historic data from various crime reporting and criminal intelligence systems and applied predictive analytics to forecast the likelihood of known individuals committing violent crimes.

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