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JUSTICE & POLICING


Digital evidence management techniques are helping to speed up the justice process


Accelerating a digital-first approach in policing


Agile development underpins Axon’s cutting-edge tech platform for evidence management


Using technology to save time and money is second nature to most of us in our personal lives. By default, and often without us noticing, we have become “digital- first” when it comes to shopping, entertainment and doing business. In public life, there’s a percep-


tion that many services have been slower to harness the advantages of new technology but, today, there are some powerful examples of the benefits of being agile, par- ticularly in healthcare and public safety. Agility is a result of blend-


34 | FUTURESCOT | SPRING 2021


ing data, technology, people and culture and embracing the pace of change. Te most successful tech businesses around the world are unflinching in the desire to “test and learn” and it is encouraging to see a number of pilots dem- onstrating results with valuable lessons we can learn from. In healthcare, the “Ask NHS” app being trialled is showing that the NHS saves £7.23 with each symptom check completed by the app. Getting information quickly via a mobile phone or tablet is preferred by many patients and, from a financial perspective, it is estimated that the NHS could save over 14 per cent of its spend by moving towards these lower cost, more efficient patient services. In policing, a new era of Digital


Evidence Management Systems (DEMS) sees Axon partner with forces including the Metropoli- tan Police to enable the sharing of digital media with the Crown Prosecution Service. It is done securely via a software-as-a- service (SaaS) solution within the cloud and is seamless and speeds up criminal justice for all. Previ- ously, officers would spend time burning evidence to discs, up to


three discs per data source, be it CCTV or digital media and deliver these discs by car, posing many challenges including poor secu- rity, the risk of losing data and the lack of effective audit trails. Of course, no discussion on


technological change can ignore the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI). At Axon, we have developed an AI Transcrip- tion service which automatically transcribes digital media footage, meaning officers will no longer have to manually transcribe foot- age. Tis helps with accuracy and gives the officer some valuable time back, too. Tese are just a small selection


of instances where public services are taking a digital-first approach and, post-pandemic, the rate of technological advancement is only going to increase. McKinsey, the global management consul- tancy, has found that Covid-19 has speeded up the adoption of digital technologies by several years and that many of these changes are here for the long- term. l


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