Seeing the community through high tech glasses…the future of policing in Queensland. Ian Stewart shares…

The introduction of new technology continues to revolutionise. Agencies are regularly embracing new ways of operating in order to better serve the community.  We sat with Former Police Commissioner Ian Stewart to talk about some of the biggest shifts that have occurred in policing due to technology advancements.

Question: What is one piece of technology that has shifted how the police service operates? What emerging technologies will impact how the police undertake their role?

The internet has been a game-changer in my lifetime in the same way that the Industrial Revolution was a game changer in previous generations.

Automated Personal Recognition Technology will be the next big game changer in that it will give us the opportunity to communicate with fellow human beings.

What APRT does for people is that you will see a perfect stranger in the street, and you will know already who they are, what their background is, whether they are a threat to the community and it will occur as you are simply moving in real time into your knowledge. A lot of this will be spoken word and via sensors, in your glasses display – so many different ways that this will occur. So what it means is that because we are social, we like to be recognised and we like to be engaged, this will be a game-changer for those relationships. The police will know everyone and everyone will know the police.

But it won’t be just police officers who will have this technology, it will be your local supermarket.  You will come in – they will know who you are, and credit cards will be a thing of the past. As you purchase things, and you leave the store, everything will be done.  It will happen automatically.  Your identity will be assured via the technology, not a chip in your phone.

This is not only for policing, but right across the public sector. At every place where we provide a public service, where you walk in to receive that service, you will know that you are talking to the right person, and they will have an idea as to what service you are seeking that day. Privacy is an issue of course, and that will allow us to ensure that we are talking to the right person and we are giving the correct information because you will be guided by that recognition technology.

This isn’t just about recognising the identity of a person. This technology will help in recognising stress, it will be identify someone having a mental episode, we will be able to interact quicker with intervention, for instance with medical intervention, and if someone is agitated or may have a mental health concern, again, not only will we know that is happening in front of us in real time, we will be getting advice on how to manage that person, and how can I calm them down, how can I deal with this situation. Or do I have to take more stringent action? All of these things will happen automatically.

This technology will also then be able to roster staff on for training before they get back to the office. It is recognising that after working in these situations we can work to adjust officers skill sets in order to better respond to situations.

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