Skip to main content

How modern day policing depends on digital security to protect the nation

Thales in the UK employee, John Cullen, discusses the challenges involved in policing large-scale events in 2024

Located at stand C55, Thales is showcasing our cutting edge capabilities at this year’s Security and Policing event.

With monumental events happening across the year, ranging from the Summer Olympics and the Euros to the European leg of Taylor Swift's much-anticipated ERAS tour, policing such events is no small feat. It requires law enforcement agencies and security personnel to harness the power of data-driven intelligence to ensure the safety and security of participants and spectators alike.

In this article, John Cullen explores the considerations that must be taken into account regarding data-driven intelligence and delves into the available solutions that aid police forces in comprehending and acting upon the data surrounding them.

Dealing with Data Overload

Effectively policing large-scale events demands a strategic approach to intelligence gathering and analysis. Law enforcement agencies need to ingest vast amounts of data from various sources, ranging from surveillance cameras and sensors to social networks and open-source information. 

However, the sheer volume of data poses a significant challenge, as the manual identification of patterns, anomalies, and potential threats could take months. 

To tackle this challenge, police forces must leverage advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to transform raw data into actionable intelligence. Command and control hypervisor systems such as Thales’s Smart Digital Platform do just that, promptly pinpointing anomalies and alerting human supervisors to dispatch resources in the most efficient way, according to predefined Standard Operating Procedures.

This assists law enforcement in making timely decisions, collaborating efficiently, anticipating potential incidents, and reporting effectively, all of which are vital components of ensuring the safety and security of large-scale events.

The ability to analyse and act on this data in real-time is crucial for safeguarding people, assets, and operations during high-profile events. Yet, the ethical considerations surrounding the use of technology cannot be ignored.

Ethical Considerations and Technological Change

The College of Policing recognises the impact of technological change on law enforcement, presenting a myriad of ethical considerations. Striking a balance between harnessing the power of data and AI for operational enhancements while upholding transparency, accountability, and public respect is imperative. Ensuring the safety and resilience of these solutions is equally critical.

By providing Transparent, Understandable, and Ethical biometrics, the Thales Technology approach aims to deliver responsible products and services that build community trust while enhancing law enforcement capabilities.

The Need for Speed

In any law enforcement scenario, speed is of the essence. The first hour after a crime or incident is often referred to as the golden hour, during which collecting evidence is most crucial. 

This urgency underscores the need for on-field lab-grade equipment that can meet legal standards without compromising speed, allowing law enforcement to maintain a decisive edge.

Mobile Biometric Identification enables officers to use mobile devices to quickly process fingerprints in the field, to identify suspects and to ascertain the identity of individuals in dynamic event environments.

Evolving Threats and Real-Time Identification

As technology evolves, so do the threats faced by law enforcement agencies. Advanced drones, for example, pose a serious risk to public safety, particularly at crowded events. Distinguishing between hostile and friendly drones in real-time is a daunting task, necessitating sophisticated solutions that can adapt to these emerging challenges seamlessly.

Thales’s PARADE, for instance, has been selected for a number of high profile sporting events to identify and track drones in real-time, helping keep fans and communities safe. This capability is instrumental in securing events with potentially crowded spaces, where the identification and tracking of drones can mitigate security risks.

Meanwhile, long-range surveillance drones contribute to the surveillance tasks crucial for maintaining security at a distance, especially in expansive event venues such as busy metropolitan cities.   

The Takeaways

In navigating the evolving landscape of twenty-first-century policing, the integration of innovative technologies must be approached with a commitment to ethical standards. Striking a balance between technological advancements and ethical considerations ensures that law enforcement remains effective while maintaining the trust and confidence of the public. The solutions outlined above exemplify how forward-thinking approaches can address challenges and contribute to the development of smart and ethical policing practices. As technology continues to evolve, so too must our commitment to their responsible and ethical use, to ensure a safer and more secure society.