Salt Communications had the honour of exhibiting back in person at the official Government worldwide security event, the Home Office Security & Policing event from 15-17th March 2022 for their 40th anniversary at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Security & Policing is a great opportunity to meet, network, and discuss the latest breakthroughs in delivering national security and resilience with UK vendors, UK government officials, and key decision makers from law enforcement and security in the UK and beyond. Hosted by the Home Offices Joint Security & Resilience Centre (JSaRC) which was one of their most content-rich and feature-packed shows yet.
Salt Communications picked up several trends in the domain of national security throughout our three days of exhibiting at this year’s event, but we’ve focused on three major developments in the security and policing business today. The transformation within the security space is being spearheaded by police and law enforcement organisations all around the world, who are pioneering new ideas, adapting to changing situations, and incorporating feedback from officers and community representatives.
- The use of technology has helped to overcome COVID-19 challenges
In the last year, we’ve seen enormous advancements in how we use technology to function, including the ability for personnel to continue investigations even if they’re shielding or working from home, and without having to interact with victims or witnesses.
Taking statements online, using existing IT and security portals are just a few of the remote processes that have been done with remarkable success. Examples are
new digital ID processes, allowing personnel to undertake ID procedures remotely and progress investigations that might have otherwise stagnated, and the use of a Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) to eliminate the need of hard media for the viewing and transfer of digital evidence
During the keynote briefing “Enabling Policing in the digital age” the panellists discussed even before COVID-19, many law enforcement agencies struggled with staffing, scheduling, and budgeting. Many businesses hurried to transfer workers to work remotely in the early days of the pandemic so they wouldn’t be exposed to the virus, but first responders don’t have that option.
One panellist in particular noted how they were able to document COVID-19 exposures and quarantines using technology, allowing command staff to track and strategically deploy the restricted number of healthy employees in their organisations. This data is also being recorded so that when the time comes, agencies can justify reimbursement for COVID-19-related expenses from federal agencies.
- Keeping up with maintaining communications with the public
The difficulty keeping up with the volume of workload, managing the backlogs in courts caused by the pandemic, and ensuring the police maintain public confidence by checking that first-contact methods are accessible to all, regardless of age, wealth, or background, were all mentioned by attendees throughout the event.
Some examples mentioned from the “What new technologies will improve public trust in policing and how should they be implanted to enable this?” during the Security and Policing challenge was the use of new technologies and how they present substantial opportunities: mobile technology helps officers to spend more time on the beat; social media provides a low-cost and effective platform for officers to communicate with communities; and predictive crime mapping has been shown to reduce crime.
One problem raised by a UK force was maintaining public trust by making first-contact tactics available to all and reflective of current communication means utilised by all sectors of society, young and old. This entails keeping conventional methods of communicating with the police and reporting occurrences and calls for service open, as well as making modern communication options available. The sometimes rapid rise and fall in popularity of particular communication platforms makes this even more difficult. Forces must be flexible in their approach to working with multiple modes of communication when dealing with the public and ensure that technology solutions are able to interface with other systems, allowing for more efficient and successful change implementation.
- The increase of devices out on the ground
The UK’s police are deploying novel technologies for reasons other than the pandemic’s aftermath. Within the UK Policing space there continues to be an increase in requirements for enhanced technology to facilitate more effective transmission of information with project deliveries missed for several years now. As such, looking ahead and out of lockdown, many attendees mentioned that they planned to increase their technological usage in the near future and how they planned to implement this to allow for effective sharing of sensitive information from officers back to headquarters.
While these technologies were developed or improved to assist law enforcement in adapting to shifting conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these difficulties existed before the epidemic and will remain as the world adjusts to a new normal.
Benefits such as improved situational awareness, incident response, improved location accuracy, increased data access and sharing, secure communications facilities and faster workflows will help law enforcement officers and the people they protect to be safer. The crisis’ answers may be improved considerably, but they are unquestionably here to stay.
What Salt concluded from speaking to forces and officers during the event is that all of these trends are really about people. These developments point to a coming convergence of people, institutions, and technology in 2022. While new technology is fascinating, law enforcement organisations should never buy the most up-to-date equipment only because it is new. Your officers and the civilians they protect are only as useful as the work they accomplish with technology. Good technology should complement or enhance how those authorities perform their duties, to ensure efficiency and complete security.
Although change is unavoidable, law enforcement organisations can take proactive measures to prepare for it. Changing demographics are altering what the officers of the future will look like and how they will spend their days, in addition to these future trends. Not only do law enforcement officials need to be aware of these developments in order to recruit the right people, but they also need to be able to manage them successfully in a world that is moving away from bricks and mortar and toward bits and bytes. Increased security of systems, information and communications will need to be delivered as soon as possible to allow officers to operate safely in the field while protecting the sensitivity and integrity of the incidents and information being dealt.
Salt Communications enjoyed exhibiting at this year’s Security and Policing and had many great conversations with those seeking to improve and secure their communications. We understand that policing has its own set of requirements, which is why we’re here to assist agencies in securing their conversations and gaining complete control over their communications. If you require any additional assistance, please contact our experts for more information on this subject at firstname.lastname@example.org or to sign up for a free trial of Salt Communications or to speak with a member of the Salt Communications team.
About Salt Communications
Salt Communications is a multi-award winning cyber security company providing a fully enterprise-managed software solution giving absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. Salt Communications offers ‘Peace of Mind’ for Organisations who value their privacy, by giving them complete control and secure communications, to protect their trusted relationships and stay safe. Salt Communications is headquartered in Belfast, N. Ireland, for more information visit Salt Communications.