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Accenture woos police agencies with analytics, mobility and social media

Jack Loo | April 10, 2013
The consulting firm says new tools can help fight crime and improve operational efficiencies.

Police organisations worldwide face challenges like volume (non-organised) crime, transnational criminal networks and terrorism.

They also need to deal with citizen expectations for more visible community-oriented policing and greater public transparency and accountability, while attempting to reduce costs, according to Tim Godwin, managing director, Police Business Services, Accenture.

With high profile clients such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from the US and the UK's Metropolitan Police Service, Accenture is keen to engage potential customers from the law enforcement agencies in the region.

Godwin spoke to Computerworld Singapore on how the experiences and knowledge gained from working elsewhere can be applied in the island nation.

1) What are the opportunities for Accenture to tap on in Singapore?

By exploiting mobile technologies, police can benefit not only from an interactive crime-fighting tool, automatically searching out and identifying suspects, but also from wider process change. By testing modus operandi and descriptions against offender profiles, police officers can gain intelligence in real-time for the first time.

In addition, accessing fingerprint and facial recognition biometrics at the scene of a crime offers a significant opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the police on the beat. Innovative solutions from the private sector can help to make mobility a reality for police.

Accenture has helped the Guardia Civil Police Force in Spain to enable over 3000 mobile device units allowing over 85,000 force members access its operations system when out on patrol.

Many private sector companies use analytics to identify switching trigger points that increase the likelihood of being able to address issues before they reach the point of losing customers altogether.

Many police forces across the world are using analytics to combat serious crime and, in particular, street crime. By compiling incident reports and analysing available statistical data, law enforcement agencies can forecast criminal activity and, as a result, respond more effectively to the shifting criminal landscape of cities and urban areas.

By working with the private sector to develop a citizen-friendly, Web-based portal, police can enable citizens and customers to report crimes, update cases, check progress of cases, search for information, submit evidence and communicate with officers - and, most importantly, enhance the citizen experience.

The willingness of citizens to collaborate was demonstrated in a recent Accenture pulse survey where 88 percent of respondents said they had an important role in supporting the police to fight crime. What is more, half of the respondents (50 percent) said they would like to see an increase in the use of police websites and portals - offering a huge opportunity for the police.

While social media channels are being used to communicate or broadcast, for some, they are also one of the means to organise criminal incidents and anti-social behaviour - such as during the UK's riots in 2011 or the vandalism and looting of more than 4,000 revellers in a Dutch town after a party posting on Facebook went viral. Managing such incidents is a challenge and one that requires considerable policing resources and focus.

 

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