Find out how AI is helping UK police

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Published 14-May-2019 11:20:49


Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and predictive technology have been around for a while now, but it’s only recently that we’re seeing such a wide range of businesses adopting the technology.


From manufacturing and agriculture to healthcare and public services, a vast array of industries are seeing tangible results. We look at how AI and cloud computing can enhance performance in law enforcement and help police departments to reduce crime by harnessing data effectively.

 Predictive technology and preventative analytics


AI, predictive technology and cloud computing are having an impact in all sorts of unexpected areas. Farming has been revolutionised by predictive technology, and it has come from increased demand. The world needs to produce 50% more food by 2050. AI helps farmers to get more from the land, whilst using their resources more sustainably.

And what about bees? Environmentalists have been warning us for years about the importance of bees and the potential issues caused by dwindling numbers. Bees are responsible for pollinating a third of the world’s food supply, and we’re losing England’s honey bees quicker than anywhere else in Europe. The World Bee Project, supported by Oracle, uses cloud technology to identify issues and devise strategies to help manage the bee population.

So, how can AI and cloud computing create an impact for emergency services, like the police? For organisations that require real-time data and quick response actions, this technology is vital. And the possibilities are endless. When people refer to predictive technology being used in policing, it conjures up images of Minority Report. AI can’t actually see into the future, like the detectives in the Tom Cruise blockbuster, but it uses data in a way we simply can't do manually.

Cloud-based AI software configures complex data to analyse, predict certain outcomes and offer insights and preventative measures. In IT, this can prevent computer hardware and networking performance issues and security threats, and for the police, this translates to stopping or solving more crimes.

Embracing cloud computing

UK police departments are being strongly urged to embrace cloud technology, to help improve response times and optimise strategic mobility. Public services are often criticised for outdated systems and slow response time in critical moments, and these innovations can really make a difference to individuals and the reputation of the police and other emergency services.

 “Police forces today face enormous pressure from both central government and the general public to reduce crime rates, despite a drop in the number of officers on the beat," says Darren Fields, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Citrix.

 Cloud software can help to bridge the gap and reduce crime numbers, even under budget constraints. The solutions are cost-effective, scalable and secure, making them a vital asset for the police force of the future. A recent FOI request from Citrix revealed 88% of forces are considering investing in cloud infrastructure and technologies such as software, platform or infrastructure as a service (SaaS, PaaS or IaaS).

 Real-time collaboration


Cloud-based software offers a fast and effective way for teams and individuals to collaborate, which is essential for a public service that relies on being able to make quick decisions and act on intel efficiently and creatively.

Cloud collaboration reduces time-delays, enables quick and easy revisions to documents, and speeds up approvals. In policing, where documents and information go through multiple layers of protocols and rank, the strict approval process can be a big challenge, especially with the time-sensitive nature of police work. So, real-time collaboration on an array of digital documentation, including via conference calls, is a game-changer.

Quick-response capabilities

Getting access to data, reporting, analytics quickly is another great benefit of cloud systems. In an environment where key information and strategic insights can make the difference to matters of safety, security and crime prevention, action or justice, cloud technology and AI can transform policing capabilities.

Here are some examples of the quick-response benefits for the police force:

  • Faster approval for critical documents
  • Enhanced geographic data to locate suspects and incidents
  • Increased capabilities for detecting patterns and identifying leads
  • Simplification of complex data to save hours of manual (or less sophisticated) searches
  • Ability to share large, performance-intensive files via cloud storage/sharing apps efficiently, to give departments and organisations fast access to key information

Analytics and proactive, preventative impact

It’s not just the speed that’s important, it’s the enhanced sophistication that AI and cloud software offer police departments which help to improve crime prevention and justice. In an age of big data, public services need highly-intelligent analytic solutions to cope with the level of data they receive and also to harness it effectively.

In the US, the FBI actively uses AI to tackle crime, and a good use case is with missing persons. The FBI gets almost half a million reports of missing children. When electronic service providers detect suspicious activity, which might offer clues to help locate a missing child, they pass the information onto the organisation. Analysts then attempt to pinpoint the location of the suspect and send the details to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Intel has worked with the organisation to build a machine learning model to predict what jurisdiction the report should be sent to, using IP addresses, phone numbers, and other data.

“The number one goal for the organisation is to get the right information to the right jurisdiction... and determine the physical location of the suspect.” - Bob Rogers, Intel's chief data scientist

Artificial intelligence can shorten the time it takes to get leads about criminal activity to the right authorities. The impact on safety and justice can’t be underestimated.

Here are some great analytical benefits that AI can offer police departments:

  • Data configuration capabilities to produce meaningful insights
  • Real-time data access
  • Enhanced facial recognition success
  • Identifying patterns for problem-solving, determining motives and linking individuals, organisations and materials with other cases
  • Improved strategic decision-making
  • Increased security threat prevention
  • Greater technology intelligence for fighting cyber-crime


AI and cloud computing can help to enhance the capabilities of the police force, across a range of different areas, from response times to tactical movements, security to crime prevention. As criminals become more sophisticated, we need the people who protect us to be armed with the right technology to match those who seek to take advantage of systems and opportunities.

More benefits of the technology are emerging, especially as businesses increasingly adopt AI and cloud solutions. This means the police will be able to leverage more granular data, get faster access the right information and people, and improve their ability to prevent crime, protect the public and serve justice more effectively.

Learn more about the benefits and solutions available to organisations on our dedicated cloud technology page. Modernise your IT environment with cloud-based software and infrastructure.

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