Sussex Police announced it will use new technology and equipment in its policing, and will develop the ‘digital police officer’ next year.
The force announced the move at the opening of a Home Office hub which will be based in Sussex, the Security Innovation and Demonstration Centre (SIDC), on Wednesday.
Police said from January, the centre, based in Horsham, will undertake a number of projects for the whole of Sussex Police, and forces across the UK.
These include developing the ‘digital police officer’, enabling officers to use technology such as body worn video, wearable mobile data and head-up displays to improve information gathering and sharing. It also plans to get a better understanding of how organised crime is taking advantage of an expanding digital world.
Assistant chief constable Steve Barry, said, “The College of Policing, supported by the Police Digitisation Programme has committed to all forces being fully digital by 2016. A comprehensive review has already been undertaken, setting out a vision of what that looks like. Sussex, as well as all other forces is now fully behind making this happen.
“Technology is at the heart of seeing this vision through, allowing police officers to undertake their roles more effectively and at the same time making them more accountable to the public.
“Technology will allow us to provide digital evidence throughout the criminal justice system, maintaining the highest levels of quality and integrity.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, said, “I am extremely excited to see this national innovation hub open in Sussex. Innovation is at the heart of transforming public services, including policing.
“Modern policing is heavily dependent on new technology, which enables officers to provide a more effective and efficient service.
“The SIDC will facilitate engagement between a wide range of suppliers, policy makers and end users to encourage collaborative partnerships. Specifically, this will enable the police and other emergency services to develop a better understanding of national security challenges and how technologies can be applied to help build capacity and capability to meet these requirements.”