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Scotland’s Police force are in a good place for their tech future


by Pamela Cook

24 Apr 2019

Jenni Davidson (publictechnology.net) talks with assistant chief constable Malcom Graham about how technology can benefit officers and the public.  He describes the hurdles they have faced when introducing new technology on a national scale along with the benefits from the delays; such as learning from others.

Graham has been responsible for strategy and innovation for Police Scotland, including the digitally enabled policing programme and the Policing 2026 transformation strategy.  He explains how they are introducing the technology in a modular, agile way using a risk-based approach.  They have already responded to officers needs regarding technology and remote working and will be introducing more efficient mobile technology, giving officers more time to focus on other priorities rather than ‘paperwork’.   

Pamela Cook, Director, Infoshare, adds ‘It is encouraging to read that Police Scotland have made such strides in building a better Safer Police Force through learnings; understanding and clarity of future needs’.

Having worked with several forces who have fully integrated their systems; experiencing the wide-reaching benefits of doing so, it is proven these hurdles can be managed successfully.

Pamela recalls many years ago when Police Scotland has the mammoth task of bringing together eight forces into a combined Force. She describes how ‘They recognised the need to ensure that the location based data was all bought together to ensure that officers and analysts were all referring to and acting upon the same locality. No mean feat! When you consider how many local colloquialisms were in place to describe a location (of a crime / other); the varying spellings; challenges of how tenements are represented and inaccurate addresses; throw all of that into a central pot and it is a very wobbly foundation.’ 

Pamela adds ‘Police Scotland tackled this challenge head on so that when the individual forces needed to use one central list of locations; it was ready to go. I therefore have no doubt that they will approach their new transformation challenges with equal amounts of understanding; openness and determination.’

Image of a data centre serveer room showing a vast network of cable connections