We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Advertorial: what could modern policing look like?

By Ian Holmes, Hexagon

Cloud computing. Virtual collaboration portals. Assistive artificial intelligence. 

All of this once sounded far off and futuristic.

No longer. This technology, and more, is available for today’s police forces. As with any technological advance, however, there is understandable hesitancy to let go of old methods and adopt something new.

Take, for example, the cloud. We all use it every day, to back up photos on our smartphones or share work or documents with colleagues, but ‘the cloud’ is still something of a mystery to most of us.

Essentially, the cloud is a connected system of data centres where the computing power and storage is held offsite from the user. The word ‘offsite’ evokes security concerns, but the cloud has actually been around for almost two decades, and cloud providers like Microsoft are investing billions of dollars each year on built-in security controls to prevent, detect, and correct cyberattacks and safeguard data.

Beyond saving the costs of extensive cybersecurity investments and maintaining a data center, it makes information sharing much easier. Officers working one beat can access relevant resources or data from multiple sources using mobile apps. When a major incident takes place, police could use cloud-based collaboration platforms and invite everyone – fire services, ambulance services, local and regional agencies, hospitals, public transport departments and more – to share information, images and data to create a common operating picture as-it-happens. That fathoms a consolidated view of the incident, complete with the status of deployed units, maps, actions, photos, and video.

With all stakeholders sharing and accessing relevant information, major incidents involving multiple agencies could be directed more effectively and quickly to ensure completion faster and more safely than using today’s methods.

Another development is assistive AI. Assistive AI embedded in a computer-aided dispatch system monitors operational data dynamically, is tuned to alert call centre staff to similarities and patterns found in the data related to the incident they are working on, enabling them to make quicker, better-informed decisions.

For example, AI might notice that a suspect’s identifying scar or tattoo has been noted in several previously filed reports for similar incidents - a clue that might take an investigator hours or days to find otherwise.

Or, should a major incident occur – say a robbery in a busy business district – assistive AI could monitor dispatches from around the district and feeds from Internet of Things devices and traffic cameras. When information comes in -- descriptions, possible suspect sightings -- assistive AI could alert dispatchers to better direct resources.

In investigations post the initial incident, AI-powered analytics and data mining could help investigators process and analyse volumes of information faster than ever before. With AI assisting the detectives, potential suspects could be identified faster and links could be found between cases that don’t seem related, giving rise to further investigations, insights and revelations into complex criminal networks.

AI could also help with public trust issues by making it easier to interact with the services 24/7/365. Allowing AI chatbots and virtual assistants to handle non-emergency tasks, like answering questions, making appointments and processing reports would free up officers to focus on their primary task of keeping the public safe.

When speaking of modern policing, it would be remiss to not mention Next Generation 999 technology, which enables control rooms to receive video, photos and text messages from the public to aide or speed up the sharing of information and the resolution of incidents.

Introducing modern mainstream technology across a police force will undoubtedly result in more effective use of resources, providing better public service and cementing a stronger collaboration with the community - leading to improved public confidence in our public services.

Learn how to modernise your policing with Hexagon. Visit hxgnpublicsafety.com.                                                      

Leave a Comment
View Comments 1
In Other News
All change please: moving national IT systems to police ownership
Are we about to get a new national police improvement agency?
The importance of video evidence principles for organisations
More News