Management > Identity

Live streaming and digital ID on techUK's police transformation wish list

Neil Merrett Published 14 December 2016

New report from industry body sets out key priorities for how it believes police may better meet Home Office digital transformation aims


The introduction of online reporting, digital evidence submissions and live streaming of content such as CCTV footage have been identified by industry body techUK among key recommendations to support more efficient policing in the UK.

In its ‘Digital Policing: The Future of Modern Crime Prevention’ report, techUK has outlined key focus areas where technology can help the Home Office in realising key ambitions of its Modern Crime Prevention Strategy.

Henry Rex, programme manager for justice and emergency services with the industry body, said the department’s strategy highlighted the potential for technological transformation of crime prevention.

“With initiatives such as the Digital Policing Board and the Police Transformation Fund, great strides have been made to ensure police are well equipped to tackle crime in the digital age,” he said.

“However, more needs to be done. Whether it’s accessing and embracing transformational technologies or developing the right digital skillset for officers, police must work with government and industry to ensure they are best-placed to take advantage of innovative tech.”

The report outlines a number of recommendations for government to consider in overhauling police technology ,including adopting cloud-based systems as a means to support improved data and system access.

An approach focusing on wider scale transition to cloud computing by forces was seen as being a logical step forward to allowing law enforcement bodies to cope and benefit with increasing amounts of data being generated by their work.

Other considerations raised in the report include focusing on a “comprehensive” strategy to tackle digital skills gaps in the police, as well as reforming procurement to improve access to innovative technologies.

“Initiatives such as G-Cloud and Contracts Finder have been welcomed by industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” said the report.

"But a techUK survey of 171 SMEs this year found that one of the top barriers for accessing the public sector market still is the onerous procurement processes.”

The industry body said more work was needed to build on existing initiatives to streamline or improve procurement options for forces.

The report also cited the need for the support and adoption of online identity services to assist with trying to curb cyber crime and fraud, including smartphone-based proof of age functions to curb the need for paper-based ID.

Whitehall is presently employing a number of its own verification systems with its legacy Government Gateway function and the ongoing development of the common GOV.UK Verify platform.  Neither was mentioned in the report.

However, techUK urged the Home Office and police forces to try and increase uptake of online identity services among individuals and business.

It also called on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to work with technology suppliers on development of a digital driving licence.

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