Draft strategy includes emphases on upgrading digital capabilities and strengthening cyber security skills
Police Scotland is looking to upgrade its technology capabilities – with an emphasis on mobile connectivity and a community portal – as part of a 10-year strategy that has been released for consultation.
Titled Policing 2026, the draft document outlines the approach to increasing frontline capabilities, including the recruitment of civilian specialists in cyber crime, and will shape the Scottish Government’s plan for £100 million investment into the national police service by 2021.
The section on IT, while being short on detail, points to a plan to develop the technology infrastructure, with an emphasis on the provision of a self-service portal for reporting crime. It says this could provide live alerts and give the public a range of guidance and automated support where appropriate.
The document describes a process in which a crime reported through the portal on a mobile phone would be assessed by officers to populate a crime and investigation log. This could be integrated with evidence and intelligence from other police technologies to find an offender and support preventative measures.
Video, VR and AR
It also points to upgrading the mobile devices used by beat officers to give them access to real time information and collect forensic evidence, equipping them with body worn video, and making use of virtual and augmented reality technology in training.
This is accompanied by an emphasis on the importance of data and an intent to improve its quality, and integrate it with data from partners and open sources.
“We will gather more information from the public, using mechanisms such as crowd sourcing to support complex investigations and missing person cases,” the document says.
In addition, it points to increasing Police Scotland’s cyber capability, training its workforce to respond to relevant crimes, and identifying opportunities to work with other UK and overseas organisations in the field.
The consultation is open for feedback until 8 May.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “I am particularly pleased to see the service’s commitment to increase its operational capacity in critical areas.
“Alongside this Government’s commitment to protect the police resource budget for each year of this parliament, we have provided an enhanced £61 million reform budget for 2017-18 to support the transformational change outlined in this draft strategy.”
Earlier this month Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced further funding of £25 million for 2017-18, an equal split of revenue and capital, within the Police Reform and Change budget to support the new phase of transformation next year.
Image by Ninian Reid, CC BY 2.0 through flickr