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Technology can help tackle violent crime says trade body



Technology suppliers can support police forces and other agencies in tackling violent crime through improving collaboration, decision making, time-saving efficiencies and addressing specific problems, according to a new report from trade group TechUK.

The report includes case studies from suppliers in each of the four areas. On collaboration, it highlights the National Police Coordination Centre’s Mercury system for managing requests for mutual aid between police forces. This was originally set up for the Olympic Games in 2012, and is used for meeting demand for large events, special operations and crises. The platform, supplied by Informed Solutions, is being developed into a National Police Data Hub.

On time-saving, the report covers the use of What3words, a UK-developed system that can identify any location to within a few metres with a three-word code. It has been incorporated into command and control systems, and West Yorkshire police call-handlers can use it to accept locations.

What3words is particularly useful when crimes are taking place away from a building with an address, or when someone does not know where they are. A woman held hostage, who called 999, was talked through downloading What3words’ app by Humberside Police, allowing officers to identify the building she was in.

“This report calls on the government to further engage with the tech sector around how innovative technological solutions can be integrated to strengthen the approach to tackling violent crime, from prevention to responding to and dealing with incidents,” said TechUK chief executive Julian David in the report’s foreword.

Image: Terry from UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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