Today sees the launch of a brand new report, ‘Data-Driven Policing and Public Value’ co-authored by IPR Visiting Fellow and Senior Associate Fellow for the Police Foundation, Dr Ian Kearns, and Director of the Police Foundation, Rick Muir.

By looking at international, national, and local data policing projects, including 23 case studies, the report reveals how the police can meet the challenges of reduced budgets and changing crime through the use of data-driven technologies, and how data-driven policing can contribute to public value.

Despite the benefits of data-driven technologies however, the report also highlights the significant barriers and challenges of its usage. The misuse of data, potential breach of privacy, and the lack of regulatory frameworks are just some examples revealed to be of genuine concern for policing and its public value.

To combat this, the report makes several recommendations including; the introduction of privacy and ethics commissions to governance structures; new regulations to govern the use of algorithmic decision support tools; additional funding for police officer training; and a cross-country set of data standards and data entry codes.

Additionally, the report makes recommendations to help influence transparency and bridge the gap between policing and the general public.

Dr Ian Kearns explains:

"One of the most striking features of the debate on data-driven policing in the UK is the absence of any formal mechanisms for including the public’s voice. This is a critical gap which, if not filled, could undermine public confidence in this way of working."

Recommendations include; deliberative democracy initiatives open to groups of citizens; the banning of ‘closed’ technology systems; and the replication of Burgernet – a partnership between citizens, municipality and the police in the Netherlands.

The report highlights that, if implemented, the recommendations could help facilitate a greater embrace of data-driven policing and maintain public confidence.