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Tech: the latest steps in crime prevention

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Tech: the latest steps in crime prevention

In what sounds thrillingly like a sub-plots from Minority Report, it seems police services across the UK may well turn to biometric technology in a bid to tackle crime. This is only one prediction amid a general trend for police forces to get up to speed as regards the capacity for digital tech to augment crime-prevention, and help get faster response turnaround times when crimes have been committed. 

A recent study by Accenture of police forces worldwide has found a widespread appetite for next-generation policing through the use of tech, with mobile analytics, wearable tech such as cameras and the use of biometrics gaining ground. Accenture also questioned individuals to scope out their reaction to a more tech-equipped police service, and found that up to 80% of those questioned were pretty keen on the idea of police using digital tools to help tackle crime.

Key areas likely to be adopted by police forces keen to take advantage of the tech on officer include:

•    Using video analytics  - for example of CCTV footage – to increase public safety, such as Singapore’s “Safe City” pilot programme.  The scheme applied analytics to CCTV feeds to detect which combinations of elements such as crowds, traffic and street furniture most posed a threat to public safety;
•    Data mining, using statistical analysis and predictive modelling to pinpoint and predict crime trends, and unearth ‘hidden’ connections between apparently unconnected events and trends; and 
•    Biometric technology including facial recognition tech may well be the next step in the use of ‘wearable’ tech. This may mean that officers with cameras fitted to their uniforms may be able to use facial recognition tech to monitor the presence of individuals banned from certain events and premises. 

Quite whether we will wake up in, say, 2023 to find ourselves living in the kind of future Minority Report so glumly predicted remains to be seen – but it is certainly the case that the use of tech is an unavoidable element of modern law, whether at the sharp end of the police force, or at the (equally sharp) end of legal practice. At Legastat, our expert litigation support professionals can advise you on how to make the most of the legal tech on offer – though we have yet to offer our clients facial recognition technology.