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Commissioner: Police ‘must do better for victims of crime’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 February 2018

Kent police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott. Picture: Kent PCC

Kent police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott. Picture: Kent PCC

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The man in charge of Kent Police’s resources and policy has claimed British forces are falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to technology.

Kent police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott said his constabulary needs to step up to “do better for victims of crime”.

The police minister Nick Hurd said the Home Office is “embracing technology” to improve the productivity of police forces.

However the Police Federation and human rights groups have warned this move could be at the cost of working conditions for officers and the rights of the public.

At the last meeting of the Kent and Medway police and crime panel, Mr Scott said: “It’s incumbent on policing to change the way it operates and I do think, at times, it’s a little bit behind the rest of the world when it comes to the way in which we use technology.”

With investment in new technology, the commissioner says officers will no longer have to drive back to police stations to report on incidents, leaving more time for them to be out on the streets.

“[We need] to equip our officers with the tools they need to get things done and reduce their need to constantly have to drive back to police stations,” he said.

“Hopefully the creation of new technology will mean that they will be able to do more things with their pocket notebook and do crime reporting themselves.

“We do have to drive for that productivity when it comes to digital so we can do better by victims of crime and free up their time to do other things.”

Kent officers can be seen with body-worn cameras during arrests or raids, using mobile devices to take notes and appearing live at court via video link.

The force has also invested in new technology to report crime online through its website or the Country Eye mobile application to circumvent the stretched 101 phone line.

Simon Kempton, technology lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We welcome any tools that can aid the work of the police.

“However, technology should never be used to replace officers.”

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