Science and technology are central to our delivery of a world-class police service. Science enables better crime prevention and detection, helps safeguard victims, protects our workforce, increases privacy and transparency, and delivers fair justice.
To be an effective science-led service, we cannot stand still. The rapid growth of technology has put pressure on policing as it seeks to sustain the cutting-edge and get ahead of new forms of crime. What has got us to today, will not do for tomorrow. The S&T strategy is born from NPCC’s recognition that we must step up and catalyse on our foundation of excellence.
To develop this strategy, we consulted over 950 researchers, innovators and users of science and technology from within the NPCC and the wider community. We are grateful to everybody who contributed via our consultation survey, focus groups, interviews, expert working group, and #WeCops session for your time and generosity of insights. You provided a remarkably consistent account of what policing must do to deliver the value that science and technology offers us. This strategy encapsulates your view.
The first purpose of this strategy is to set out a science system that makes clear how we understand, commission, and use science within policing. We wish to catalyse an inclusive, collaborative community that has the functions and structures required to move from initial idea to deployed solution in an ethical, transparent, and lawful way.
The second purpose of this strategy is to set out how we will prioritise what we do. We cannot invest in every S&T opportunity so a systematic prioritisation of our efforts is needed, one that balances today’s needs with building for tomorrow. Our approach affords the advantages of national direction and ‘doing things once,’ without stifling our world-class local innovation.
The third purpose of this strategy is to set the conditions for success. We will increase science literacy across policing and ensure our science specialists are valued and given the opportunity to develop. We also commit to open science, confident that doing so will advance cross-sector engagement, allow ideas to move quickly across forces, and give the public a means to understand and evaluate what we are doing. The Police Chief Scientific Adviser and his office consider it a privilege to lead science and technology in policing at this decisive time. We look forward to working with the many brilliant people who together deliver policing’s science advantage.