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AI technology is helping free Essex Police officers from paperwork

Crime / Mon 24th Jun 2024 at 12:59pm

AI technology is helping Essex police officers save hours of “drudgery” by automating what has been traditionally been standard but repetitive tasks reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

The technology is also being used to enable better recognition of known offenders – which follows a prompt from the Government to increase their use of this artificial intelligence (AI) crime-fighting tool.

However, Roger Hirst, the Essex Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner, said AI was not widely used outside facial recognition and repetitive administrative tasks.

He told the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel that algorithmic decision-making is not widely used in general policing.

He said: “The main uses of AI so far are around taking the drudgery out of doing the repetitive tasks so one of the biggest uses so far is in the redaction of case files so that’s something which normally takes officers hours to go through just do what is a very standard job and that’s saving us many hours.”

He said the other bit is around facial recognition and fits in with a challenge from the government that police should double the number of searches they make using retrospective facial recognition (RFR) technology to track down known offenders by May 2024.

In a letter to police chiefs last year Policing Minister Chris Philp set out the Government’s belief around the importance of police harnessing the benefits of innovative technologies to support them in preventing and solving crimes, as well as to keep pace with the changing nature of criminal activity.

Mr Philip said: “I welcome the significant increase in the use of RFR since 2021 and expect all forces to use it to its full potential.

“Essex has been conducting the highest number of RFR searches per officer on the police national database in recent months. With a concerted effort, it should be possible to double the number of searches by May 2024, so they exceed 200,000 across England and Wales, and I am reviewing progress regularly with NPCC leads. There is no question that a combination of the proliferation of video footage available and recent improvements in the matching algorithm will enable many, many more offenders to be identified and prosecuted for the whole range of crimes.”

Mr Hirst said: “I’m very enthusiastic about it in so far as it does help us identify people who we may have been looking for for some time and take them off the street but we have to do it in a way which is effective and accurate.”

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1 Comment for AI technology is helping free Essex Police officers from paperwork:

James Gamble
2024-06-29 09:00:49

Is AI a good thing or a bad thing? The good side includes accuracy, speed and labour saving. The bad side is it can be used to deceive us, it will result in some jobs being lost, especially low level jobs and it will increase mental illness as many people will have no work to occupy their minds.

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