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How new technologies can change the face of policing

Watch the video of Ger Daly as he explores the topic of technology and its impact on policing.

Overview

Accenture has conducted a survey in the use of digital channels and social media in the policing world. The survey covered six countries including the United States and Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands and discovered:

  • More than 90 percent of the people surveyed want to support the police in carrying out the business of policing

  • More than almost nine in 10 of respondent citizens believe they have an important role to play in supporting police forces

  • Only about 20 percent of the citizens surveyed feel that they are sufficiently informed to be able to help with what is happening in a policing context in their own environment

  • More than three quarters of citizens feel that social media and digital channels can be a key part of the link between them and police forces

Although austerity may be driving the conversation—how to do more with less—more sophisticated discussions are needed around how to use technology, change processes and redesign organizational aspects to adjust policing so that it meets the demands of today and tomorrow.

Background

An Accenture survey conducted across six countries has discovered that there are are high levels of support from citizens for the business of policing. Many survey respondents expressed an interest in using channels, such as Facebook, Web portals, Twitter, and smartphones to communicate with police forces. Accenture is seeing examples of how these channels are making a considerable difference in the business of policing; and yet there is more to be done in terms of incorporating them into every day activities. Here lies the opportunity in policing. Despite budget cuts, for the first time police forces are taking a fundamental look at how they implement processes, effect organizational changes and apply technologies in policing.

Analysis

Police forces can tap into the opportunities offered by technology such as:

  • Analytics: being widely used to improve and support the performance of police officers in new ways, such as the ability to mine rich data and extract data for analysis and insight.

  • Mobility: using mobile devices to encounter, fight and detect crime, not merely record data.

  • Digital channels: offering the ability to connect with the public in an engaging manner, extending the workflow of crime detection and crime management out from the police force into the community.

  • Cloud technologies: enabling solutions to be implemented more quickly and with greater flexibility than before, opening up the potential for new commercial models and ways of engaging with the private sector to gain more value.

  • Information management: fundamentally re-examining how to generate one version of the truth for the officer to improve decision making.

Recommendations

In many ways, austerity is driving the conversation from “how do we outsource policing activities to save money?” to a more sophisticated discussion around how to use technology, change processes and redesign organizations, all at the same time, to change how the police operate to suit current times.

Many countries are redeveloping, re-examining policing platforms at national level across Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

For more, watch the video of Ger Daly, Managing Director for Defense and Public Safety as he explores the topic of technology and its impact on policing at the 2012 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference.