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Looking across many of the current Policing vision statements both inside and outside of the UK we see a common set of themes that set out the digital agenda for Policing and Public Security. The four most common being: –

  1. Digital Engagement – multi-channel approach to communication with the public, recognition of all channels including social media. Focusing on a real ‘citizen’ centric approach.
  2. Digital Collaboration – Working in partnership with internal and external stakeholders – the recognition that rapid data collaboration and interoperability is vital to fight the threat and its digital volume.
  3. Digital Investigation – focusing on a true joined up end to end strategy – the reality is that in most cases this represents a lot of different systems in a complex landscape, often with much duplication, data siloes and inflexible processes.
  4. All underpinned by MOBILITY – All the above needs to be supported by the right mobility capabilities to keep resources on the move, advised and advising all whilst receiving the most relevant and real time data.

If the above is a broad summary of the Digital Focus across policing it makes sense to consider the challenges.

The approach to Crime and how it is Policed is changing. At the heart of that threat is the way that technology is adopted by those that wish to deliver harm, whether it be crime or terror related activities. Let’s take a brief look at these challenges as being shared by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Challenge

  1. The threat that the connected society will bring – IOT in the home, workplace, public space and vehicle – This opens the complex aspects of the new incarnations of crime and terror, focused almost entirely around the effects of Cybercrime. Extend this question to the safety of our National infrastructure, Water, Power, Fuel, Food, Hospitals, Banking and Borders and we can then see importance of being able to tackle the threat.
  2. This in turns brings up the associated challenges of volume – Its low risk and high volume. Why steal my television when you can empty my bank account (along with many others) from your bedroom? Again, highlighting that the threat now comes in many different forms, it doesn’t respect traditional boundaries as it has a true global reach. Look at the way that hackers have been trying to influence political outcomes and the continuing debate around  fake news.
  3. Skills and resources – more with less, a lack of the right skills, unsustainable volumes of data and crimes. This opens the discussion around the effective use of technology to fight the threat in a rapidly changing landscape and to provide that more cohesive link between Public and Law Enforcement.
  4. The change brought about by the new digitally connected world is that the role of police will change. The lines between the traditional investigation after the crime are being blurred as more is expected of the police and law enforcement agencies to support the prevention and pre-detection. We see this in the use cases that move from the profiling of vulnerable people to pre-empt an incident to the movement and profiling of those at risk of radicalisation and the subsequent dramatic outcomes. It opens the collaboration questions further.
  5. The growth of Social media is proving to be a major challenge to all policing and law enforcement agencies, just down to the sheer volume, the unstructured multi-lingual and parochial nature. It produces by far the most ‘new data’ in all forms and it sits at the centre of the threat’s capability to plan and deliver crime.
  6. Legislation is at the centre of the issue when it comes to the way that data is used regarding ethics and privacy and therefore will be a constant in terms of the way that data can and should be managed.

Which in turn provides….

Opportunity

Again, this is just a view on some of the key opportunities that we are seeing in relation to the broad set of challenges listed above

  1. Let’s focus initially on data. New technologies that adopt machine learning and AI to analyse data from many different sources (structured and unstructured, traditional databases, social media, sensors, cameras – static and body worn) will all provide the ability to profile data against risks, extract intelligence at a pace that no end of human eyes could process and move more into the prevention through detection rather than investigation after the event.
  2. Crime detection and Resource management go hand in hand. Prediction or what many would prefer to call it Real Time Risk Assessment is the ability use this data to make these informed decisions and to have the ability to keep adjusting and flexing the way these decisions are made. It rolls over into the restrictions of legislation of course, but at all levels of policing and law enforcement is the delivery of public security and safety.
  3. When we look at one of the key focus areas in Policing – Digital Investigations – then we need to look at the opportunity that new technology provides in the way that day-to-day policing efficiency can be supported and enhanced. Evidence gathering at the scene of the crime, real time analysis, 1st responder triage (Right information, provided at the right time) joined up and collaborative Investigation Management in other words.
  4. IoT and connectivity will provide the ability to deliver a more cost effective and efficient service to the public at all levels, connected devices, wearable apps, connected services, real time data, real time situational awareness opens a mass of opportunities in the most challenging areas. Not just between law-enforcement agencies but between citizen and law enforcement – Think about public protection in crowded spaces, support of police officers in terms of health and capability in an emergency response, the push and pull of data in real time to make informed and decisive decisions (within the boundaries of data legislation of course).

In summary, we are all aware across all industries that the volume, velocity and veracity of data will only exponentially increase and that whoever controls the data will control the industry. In the industry of Public Security that must be the Law Enforcement agencies….

At SAP we are working with our customers and partners to understand where the major challenges exist in the operational space across the Law Enforcement, Intelligence and National Security not only today but into the future.

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