Can Technology Improve Policing?

Most people think the police could be doing a better job through the use of technology, and according to a new survey, they’re comfortable with the idea.

Eight out of 10 world citizens surveyed said that they believe police could improve service delivery with modern technology, and expressed their comfort levels with different technologies, including predictive technologies (88 percent), security cameras (83 percent), wearable technologies, (80 percent) and mobile devices (89 percent).

The Accenture Citizen Pulse Survey on Policing 2014 surveyed 4,000 people from eight countries – Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. – to identify trends in public sentiment around policing.

People believe in the potential of technology to defeat crime. About 88 percent of respondents said digital technology helps beat crime. An additional 77 percent said that technology could be used to prevent crime.

An increase in technology interest and adoption also paints the policing technology landscape. About 79 percent of respondents said they want digital interactions instead of or in addition to face-to-face interactions with law enforcement. And 72 percent of respondents said they are likelier today to use social media to contact police than they were one year ago. About 74 percent said they wished their local police would create a mobile app that they could use.

Among countries surveyed, Singapore reported feeling the safest, with 91 percent reporting feeling safe, while France scored lowest in that result with 69 percent. About 84 percent of U.S. respondents reported generally feeling safe.

The full seven-page report is available for free from Accenture.

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