Police forces not keeping pace with technology, says constabulary inspectorate

Written by Rebecca Hill on 8 March 2017 in News
News

Police forces across the UK are struggling to cope with technologically advanced crimes and are failing to exploit digital investigative techniques, a report has said.

Police forces need to get to grips with new technology - Photo credit: PA

In its report into police effectiveness, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said it was “concerned that police forces are not keeping pace with how technology is transforming the lives of citizens and changing how they experience crime”.

HMIC said that forces were not able to exploit digital investigative opportunities due to insufficient capacity or capability.

This includes the time taken to examine mobile phones or laptops for evidence, with HMIC saying there were more than 16,000 digital devices still awaiting examination when it carried out its investigation.


Related content

Constabulary inspectorate tells police forces to urgently address digital skills gap
Police chiefs and crime commissioners pledge digital policing reforms


This lack of digital forensic capability has been raised in previous HMIC reports, and the most recent one, published this month, said that there was evidence that forces were making “a concerted effort” to improve the situation.

However, some of these approaches, such as using overtime or outsourcing to tackle backlogs and reduce waiting times, were not sustainable, the report said.

At the time of the investigation, HMIC said, there was not enough evidence that forces have “an established and achievable approach” to managing increasing demand for digital policing, it said.

HMIC also said that forces needed to make better use of new technologies to make better use of their resources, especially as budgets are shrinking, for instance with crime-mapping software and enhanced predictive analytical tools.

“Innovative analytical techniques should be used to help the service to make decisions about where to target resources,” the report said. “Most forces have not yet explored fully the use of new and emerging techniques and analysis to direct operational activity at a local level.”

Forces are also struggling with the technology-enabled element of fraud, the report said.

In November 2016, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs’ Council issued a joint Policing Vision 2025, which set out plans to boost staff skills, share digital evidence and improve recording and analysis of online crime.

Among the pledges in this report was a commitment to better share resources, integrate and consolidate IT systems and improve analytical capabilities of staff.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

Add new comment

Related Articles

Public-sector AI code of conduct published
21 February 2018

Nesta creates 10-strong list of principles it believes should define how government uses artificial intelligence and algorithms

West Yorkshire Police to roll out mobile scanners for on-the-spot fingerprint checks
13 February 2018

Devices are designed to check against national criminal and immigration databases and return results in under a minute

Government launches review of online trolling laws
7 February 2018

Law Commission asked to analyse whether and how statutes need to be changed to ensure they are fit for the internet age

 

Whitehall signs up to avoid all-male tech shortlists
31 January 2018

All government departments will sign the Tech Talent Charter, including a pledge to submit anonymised diversity data

 

Related Sponsored Articles

Who keeps your organisation secure?
19 February 2018

BT's Amy Lemberger argues that having the right security in place to protect your organisation is no longer just an option. It is a necessity.

WATCH: Digital transformation - the key to success or a security risk too far?
13 February 2018

BT brought together some their top security experts and CIOs from well known UK organisations to discuss digital transformation and the impact that it’s having on organisations